Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM and Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

Philip A. Reed

Committee Member

Daniel L. Dickerson

Committee Member

John M. Ritz


The goal of this study was to determine to what extent, technological literacy courses were required in K-12 teacher education. The study was limited to initial teacher education programs that are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and Teacher Education Accreditation Council. Out of 697 accredited programs in the United States, a random sample of 248 programs was created. A document review of the appropriate course catalogs for initial teacher preparation was conducted. The document review identified general education requirements and options for technological literacy courses, as well as requirements and options for these courses for the education majors included in the study. Finally, the study looked at differences between the K-12 education majors of elementary education, English, social studies, mathematics, and science concerning technological literacy course requirements.

For this study, technological literacy was defined using the International Technology Education Association's Standards for Technological Literacy as "the ability to use, manage, assess, and understand technology" (ITEA, 2000/2002/2007, p. 9). This definition of literacy is broader than the technology literacy associated with computer use and instructional technology as well as courses limited to the history or philosophy of technology.

A general conclusion is that there is very little exposure to technological literacy courses for prospective K-12 teachers. This may be due in part to the confusion between instructional technology literacy and technological literacy. Though 1/3 of the sample provided opportunities for technological literacy courses in general education, only four institutions required these courses. Thirty-two of the 248 institutions had requirements for technological literacy courses in teacher education programs. These requirements were primarily limited to elementary education and secondary science education majors. The study found that the requirement for technological literacy courses that focused on technology education instructional methods had large increases for elementary majors compared to earlier studies.