Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2006

Publication Title

Journal of Technology Education








The standards-based reform movement in education that began in the 1980s has evolved. In the 1990s, the focus was on producing subject-area content standards and modifying instruction. Today, the focus has shifted to assessment, and for technology education, demonstrating the impact on children and the efficacy of the discipline within general education. The purpose of this study was to compare the Standards of Learning (SOL) End-of-Course mathematics performance of high school students who completed courses in illustration and design technology to students who have not completed an illustration and design technology course. The following research questions were developed for this study: (1) Did students who had taken illustration and design technology courses perform better on their mathematics SOL tests than students who did not take illustration and design technology courses?; and (2) Did students who had not passed the mathematics SOL tests do better on their retake examinations after they took an illustration and design course? The population for this study was composed of 996 students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades who had taken the Algebra I and/or the Geometry end-of-course SOL examinations during the 2002-2003 school year. A "t" test was used to validate the first research question, and a Chi-square test was used to validate the second research question. The means and standard deviations were used to show the quality of testing between the Non-Illustration and Design Technology group and the Illustration and Design Technology group. The Illustration and Design Technology group had a 78% passing rate, while the Non-Illustration and Design Technology group had a passing rate of 73%. The Illustration and Design Technology group scored 14 points higher on average than the Non-Illustration and Design Technology group. The researchers recommend that this study be replicated with a larger sample in order to include more students. Technology educators must insure that planning at all levels implements contextual practice and includes meaningful assessment. The profession's long tradition of contextual practice is meaningless if it cannot delineate the impact it is having on students.

Original Publication Citation

Dyer, R. R., Reed, P. A., & Berry, R. Q. (2006). Investigating the relationship between high school technology education and test scores for algebra 1 and geometry. Journal of Technology Education, 17(2), 7-17.