Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Headquarters, 1410 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 703-683-3111.
Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) serve as an integral part of many career and technical education (CTE) programs across the country. Their activities and competitions make up many of the strongest CTE programs due to their co-curricular nature. With memberships ranging from tens of thousands to almost a half million, it is hard not to acknowledge their benefit to our society and the educational system. A career and technical student organization is a powerful instructional tool that works best when integrated into the career and technical education curriculum and classroom by an instructor who is committed to the total development of the student. Data from a study related to the Technology Student Association (TSA), one of the 10 CTSOs, suggests that involvement in CTSO activities allows students to develop skills such as problem solving, creativity and teamwork as well as increase their understandings related to the Standards for Technological Literacy. Even given the CTSOs' benefits, many teachers still find it hard to merge both the CTSO and the curriculum with the many demands and time constraints of the school day. Yet through the support of the National Science Foundation, it is now easier. The TECH-know project has completed its first set of integrated instructional materials based on 20 of the TSA activities. Through these units of instruction, teachers will be able to bring the competitive event as well as the standards-based concepts into the classroom in a timely and effective way. This article addresses: what the TECH-know Project is; Structure of Units; and the Educational Value.