Key Factors Affecting the Implementation of Biotechnology Instruction in Secondary School Level Technology Education Classrooms
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The growing impact of biotechnology globally and nationally over the past few decades has prompted the need for elevating general biotechnological literacy levels in all populations. This need is currently being addressed through the field of technology education (TE). Although included in the Standards for Technological Literacy (ITEA, 2000), the actual delivery of biotechnology instruction in TE classrooms has not realized broad implementation. Previous studies have recognized this issue and called for systematic research to identify key factors affecting the implementation of biotechnology instruction in secondary school level TE classrooms. The purpose of this study is to identify the key factors affecting the implementation of biotechnology instruction in secondary level TE classrooms and establish predictive values for the identified factors. This study, which employs a research design grounded in both Rogers’ Diffusion Theory (2003) and Eccles Expectancy-Value Theory (2005), was conducted to address this implementation issue. This study involved the administration of a composite on-line instrument to collect demographic, attitudinal, motivational, and open-ended data related to the phenomena under investigation. Data collected from the on-line composite survey were analyzed through statistical (descriptive, independent t-tests, correlations, hierarchical multiple regressions) and thematic analysis. A total of 395 secondary school TE teachers across the five selected states (Virginia, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) participated in this study. Analyses of the data led to the following conclusions. Insufficient implementation and preparation toward teaching biotechnology presented in this study are consistent with the low level of implementation of biotechnology instruction in TE classrooms revealed through prior studies. In addition, TE teachers’ motivation (expectancy, value, and cost), their preparation (pre-service courses and/or in-service PD), and infrastructure are all significant predictors for the implementation of biotechnology instruction. Thus, it is necessary for the TE teachers to have a variety of opportunities and support for developing their self-belief toward teaching biotechnology and experiencing the usefulness and importance of teaching biotechnology. The findings and conclusions drawn from the data analysis provide implications to the TE teachers and pre-service teacher preparation institutes.
- Doctoral Dissertations