Assessment of technological literacy in the United States

Greg Pearson
2007, Vol. 12, No. 2,


Over the past decade, several prominent U.S.
organizations have suggested Americans – particularly
American students – should be more knowledgeable
about technology to be successful, well-rounded
citizens. However, these urgings have been made
largely in the absence of data about technological
literacy in the United States. The lack of such data
reflects a near-absence of assessment of this critical
competency. To help address this problem, The
National Academies launched a study of the
opportunities and obstacles to developing one or
more scientifically valid and broadly useful
assessment instruments for technological literacy. The
paper provides background to the Academies and the
study, proposes working definitions of technology and
technological literacy, summarizes technology-related
assessment instruments analyzed by the study
committee, presents a conceptual framework suitable
for constructing new assessments in this domain, and
suggests future steps that might be needed to make
assessment of technological literacy more prevalent.


Assessment ; Technology ; Technological literacy ; United States ; Knowledge ; Capability ; Critical thinking ; Decision making

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