|Action||Comprehensive Revision of the Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in|
|Comment Period||Ends 10/31/2015|
Proposed Engineering Education discipline 8 VAC 20-543
The current proposal (8 VAC 20-543), designed to create an engineering discipline is unnecessary and redundant. Current Virginia Code (8VAC 20-542) already incorporates the instruction of engineering coursework within the Career and Technical Education umbrella. There is no statistical evidence that Virginia public schools are not meeting the needs of colleges and universities with regard to students continuing post-secondary study in the field of engineering. In fact, there is ample evidence cited by numerous studies that there are actually too many engineers graduating from our nation’s colleges and universities each year. Furthermore, according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment prediction for 2012-2022 job growth in mechanical, aerospace, and industrial engineering fields is slower than average.
I also oppose the proposal (8 VAC 20-23) creating an additional path for engineers to gain teacher licensure. Virginia Code (8 VAC 20-22) currently offers options for certification that are based on sound reasoning. There is no need to reinvent the wheel for engineers who are simply seeking to escape the pedagogy requirement. Research shows that content knowledge is only 20 percent of what makes a good teacher. Engineers need to understand the ramifications of decisions they might make in a secondary classroom and be especially mindful of adolescent development. Simply knowing how mathematics and science are applied to the engineering process is not enough to warrant placing engineers into a classroom without formal training. I certainly do not oppose having engineers in the Career and Technical education field, nor do I oppose having engineers teaching mathematics or science if that is their desire. What I do oppose is having a separate discipline for engineers and different licensing procedures for engineers to teach, especially procedures based upon faulty reasoning which, if followed to a logical conclusion, would say that only lawyers could teach criminal justice. Additionally, research shows that the science and engineering courses at the nation’s colleges and universities lose students based not on student performance or secondary school preparation, but on the quality of college education, be it poor teaching resources or lack of pedagogy. Pedagogy training is absolutely necessary to develop effective educators.
In the majority of comments posted I see no actual statistics provided that support the need for a stand-alone engineering discipline. The following publications should be read and digested prior to making a determination to add engineering as a discipline or making any changes to the regulations for endorsement for Virginia. This effort to change the existing Virginia Code is unnecessary, arbitrary, and redundant. Such a change will weaken the standards already in place and by which Technology Education teachers demonstrate on a daily basis the application of mathematics and science (engineering) through the use of technology. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is alive and well in Virginia without the proposed changes.