Starting with the distinction of natural science, engineering science ("technology") and engineering practice ("technics"), the paper will stress the difference between technological and technical knowledge. The first part will discuss the relationship between science and technology, arguing that technology is a genuine type of knowledge rather than "applied science". In technics, however, even technological laws, as transformations of scientific laws, cover a certain part of knowledge only. The greater part of technical knowledge includes technical know-how, functional rules, structural rules, and socio-technological understanding, which is just developing in our times. The classification of knowledge types will be used for determining which kind of knowledge may seem appropriate to general technological education.
There are several dimensions of technology knowledge: (1) There is knowledge about technologies. That is the engineer’s or technician’s knowledge, the knowledge of how a machine is made and how it functions. (2) There is what could be called theoretical technology knowledge, that is the knowledge of the physical, chemical or electrical laws and principles which allow any given technology the capacity to do what it does. This is the scientist’s or scientific engineer’s knowledge. (3) But there is also a different kind of technology knowledge — knowledge through technologies. This is a special kind of praxical or use knowledge which runs through a wide range of human actions. And it is this kind of knowledge which has been the focus of my own work for some two plus decades. And, indeed, in this paper, since I focus upon scientific knowledge which is instrumentally generated, there is a sense in which I am illustrating another point I have often emphasized. That is, much, if not most, scientific knowledge is ‘technologically dependent.’ It is ‘constructed’ through the use of instruments which are technologies. This is then a kind of inversion of the more standard notions that technologies are derived from science or scientific theories, rather it is the notion that scientific knowledge is instrumentally dependent upon technologies.
This paper reviews ideas from design and technology and science education and discusses knowledge, values and skills as aspects of technology in order to demonstrate that technology for design cannot be simply associated with a knowledge component of technology. The paper highlights the linguistic challenges in expressing issues in this area and the philosophical difficulty that the nature of cognitive modelling means that some aspects may be impossible to express using language. Values and a designerly way of knowing and the nature of technological skills are discussed in order to establish their relationship to technology for design. Prior studies concerning technology and designing have focused on engineering and science-based design areas. A research agenda in relation to the proposed broader interpretation of technology for design is discussed, which demonstrates that such research must ultimately be interdisciplinary. Nevertheless, initial steps which could be taken by design researchers are suggested.
Creativity is acknowledged to be important for economic growth and as an everyday life-skill, however several influential
reports have suggested that education could do more to harness creative talent. Creative cognition literature suggests the
lack of creativity is at least partly the result of ‘fixation’ (difficulty in generating novel ideas due to imagination being
‘structured’ by existing knowledge). This paper focuses on the secondary (students aged 11–16years) design and technology
(D&T) context in the UK. Here we examine whether teacher practice can contribute to fixation by focusing on one specific facet
of teacher practice in D&T; the use of product analysis to inform the generation of creative design ideas. Data is drawn from
the preliminary phase of a research and intervention project from interviews with D&T teachers (N=14), students (N=126) and lesson observations (N=10) and an analysis of documents and student work. Product analysis is widely used at different points in design projects
but, as is shown, in all cases current practice can lead to fixation, as thinking is constrained down specific paths and tasks
are at best at procedural rather than comprehension level. The implications of these findings and tentative ways forward for
practitioners are discussed.
This paper investigates the interactions between design students’ cognitive styles, as measured by Riding’s Cognitive Styles
Analysis, and performance in 2D drafting and design tasks in digital media. An empirical research revealed that Imager students
outperformed Verbalisers in both drafting and creativity scores. Wholist–Analytic cognitive style dimension was found to be
independent from drafting and design performance. The study suggests that examining the cognitive styles of students in Computer
Aided Design (CAD) education deserves further attention and may facilitate for improvements in learning processes.
The purpose of this study is to explore the effectiveness of 3D simulation technology for enhancing spatial visualization
skills in apparel design education and further to suggest an innovative teaching approach using the technology. Apparel design
majors in an introductory patternmaking course, at a large Midwestern University in the United States, participated in this
study. Three different teaching methods (lecture, 3D simulation instruments, and paper patternmaking) were employed in consecutive
instructional phases, within a single day. A short questionnaire devised to assess students’ visualization abilities and overall
evaluation on the three different teaching methods was administered to the students after each of the three phases. Overall,
students’ abilities to visualize 2D patterns onto a human body were improved by all three teaching methods. The 3D simulation
instruments anchored positive effects of training on spatial visualization abilities between lecture and paper patternmaking
practices. The results affirm that 3D simulation technology has positive potential as an efficient instructional tool for
improving students’ visualization skills in apparel design.
Keywords3D simulation–Spatial visualization–Patternmaking–Apparel design education
Many claims have been made of a subjective nature that some students studying A level Design develop certain personal qualities and attributes not found in some students who study other academic A levels. The research describes attempts to quantify these claims and as a result provides a firmer basis for the understanding of the effects on students of studying design.
This article describes research done among M. Eng. students in several faculties of the Eindhoven University of Technology into their abilities to integrate nontechnical (social) elements in the research that led to their M. Eng. theses. It was found that these students often lacked research skills (the abilities to define the research problem, to comment upon research methodology, to reflect upon research outcomes). As a result, they also tended to neglect social factors relevant to their engineering research.
Recommendations to improve this situation are formulated for the curriculum of engineering education programmes.
There is a current vacillation in choosing hand or computer for design presentation in academia. Although the computer emerged
as very powerful alternative presentation medium, it could not sweep away the hand totally. Believing that this vacillation
cannot only be due to the positive and negative aspects of both media, we worked with a group of students in a design curriculum
to observe the factors that affect their choice of medium for presenting design ideas. The students were required to use both
media for the same task, subsequently their satisfaction and evaluation were examined through a questionnaire. Students acknowledged
the positive aspects of both media, rather than accumulating on one side. Findings led us to concur that the constant oscillation
of architecture between art and science penetrates down to the individual choice of presentation medium. We assert that the
warmness of hand is not deserted as it contemplates the artistic essence, while the digital perfection of the computers flirt
with science. The ever-attended, age-old question of architecture’s being art and/or science occupies the architectural agenda
at various levels. Both the polarizations and the reconciliations have theoretical, practical and educational consequences.
This paper locates itself within this context and proposes a new framework for analyzing the impacts of this oscillation in
design presentation, concluding that the future of presentation in education points to the coexistence of both media.
This paper presents perceptions and attitudes of freshmen students that have participated in an introductory Project-Based
Learning (PBL) course in engineering. The course, `A creative introduction to mechanical engineering', was developed and is
taught in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technion. In this course, teams of students carry out mini-projects
that require the design and construction of devices that perform pre-defined tasks. The qualitative paradigm was found to
be suitable for studying the process undergone by the students, mainly because the study focused on the human aspect — the
students' emotions, thoughts, behavior, and difficulties. Data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews with the
students, the teacher, and the teaching-assistant, by observations in the classroom, and by analyzing students' reports. The
paper presents the students' perceptions of: the aim of the course; the instructor's role in a PBL environment; characteristics
of PBL course; advantages of the PBL from the students' point of view; PBL as a learning environment for future engineers,
and implications of learning in teams.
Many programs in the United States have undertaken to show the benefits to students of integrating academic disciplines. The TEC-Lab project, however, is unique among them because of its innovative approach. First, the TEC-Lab students are in senior high school, grades 9 to 12, while most innovative efforts are concentrated at the elementary and middle school levels. Second, the TEC-Lab approach uses technology as a means of meeting the usual academic requirements, rather than attempting to integrate the other academic areas into technology. The difference between these two approaches is subtle but profound.
The first semester of the project was fraught with problems as equipment deliveries were late and installation difficulties delayed implementation even further. There was too little time to provide adequate teacher preparation. The students' lack of familiarity with the technologies in the TEC-Lab complicated implementation.
It is actually remarkable that these serious implementation problems apparently had little negative effect on the achievement levels of the students in the project. The lack of significant differences between the TEC-Lab and comparison classes in physical science and geometry in January, 1992 gave an early indication that immersion in the TEC-Lab environment was not disadvantageous to students. The comparisons made in May, 1992 of all TEC-Lab and comparison classes identified only one significant difference in achievement levels, when the TEC-Lab technology class achieved significantly better than the comparison technology class. This difference may well be explained by the overlap between the subject matter of the course and the technologies in use in the TEC-Lab.
The changes in student attitudes towards technology during the academic year are particularly provocative. Participation in the TEC-Lab project, whether in one of the TEC-Lab classes or in one of the comparison classes taught by the TEC-Lab teachers, resulted in positive changes in attitude toward technology. The shift was consistent, appearing in each of the factors as well as the overall attitude scale.
This article focuses on the similarities and differences in the academic education of software engineers and architects. The
rationale for this work stems from our observation, each from the perspective of her or his own discipline, that these two
professional design and development processes share some similarities. A pilot study was performed, in which 24 practitioners
(12 software engineers and 12 architects) were interviewed concerning the main characteristics of the two professions. The
characteristics were classified according to four categories: discipline-related characteristics, professional skills, characteristics
of typical problems and processes, and characteristics of a typical product. Data analysis indicates that according to the
practitioners, while the professional skills required of professionals in the two disciplines are mostly common, the difference
between the two disciplines is reflected most significantly in the features of the product created in the two professional
processes. Based on this observation, some conclusions are outlined with respect to the academic education in the two fields.
The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between such factors as learning style, gender, prior experience,
and successful achievement in contrasting modules taken by a cohort of thirty design and technology trainee teachers during
their degree programme at a University in the North East of England. Achievement data were collected from three design and
three electronic modules at levels 1, 2 and 3. Data concerning appropriate, previous experience before starting the course
was obtained through a short questionnaire. The learning style of each member of the sample was ascertained using the Cognitive
Style Analysis test. The findings from the study indicated that the learning style groupings were not as expected. A positive
relationship between achievement and past experience in both electronics and design activity was found, although improvement
for those with no prior experience in comparison to those with previous experience was only evident in electronics. A concern
arising out of the data was the differences in terms of achievement between male and female students and also the difference
in achievement when learning style and gender were scrutinised. The implications of the findings in relation to the success
of the trainees as impending teachers of design and technology were discussed. The problems associated with the small cell
size caused by splitting the sample by the three variables was acknowledged and a suggestion was made that further study would
be required to ascertain whether the gender and learning style differences witnessed in this study would be replicated in
a larger sample.
It is generally recognised that curriculum development is required to develop methods of delivering technology across the curriculum. This paper is based on the three years of development of an approach known as group task management (GTM). Central to the approach is the setting of a task which groups co-operate in achieving, in competition with other groups. Although GTM can be undertaken within the normal timetable structure it is argued that the most beneficial approach is to use a blocked period of time. Students report that the activity is relevant and of benefit.
This article addresses how we learn technology across the lifespan. After outlining findings of research into how children,
adolescents, teens and adults learn technology, we address theoretical shifts from sociocultural to technocultural theories
of cognition and reorientations from mediated to cyborgenic learning. The balance of the article describes effective methods
for researching cognition and technology. In the process of outlining key findings from research, we emphasize the links among
methods and theories employed, data produced and conclusions drawn. Our goal is to sketch a lifelong learning context for
undertaking studies of cognition and technology, and to provide a methodological and theoretical analysis for researchers
venturing into this dynamic and volatile field. In summary, we provide a far-ranging agenda for researching cognition and
The paper raises the question: what should educators now be doing to promote informed judgment and responsible action in advanced technological society? After providing a narrative of the development of the context for this question, the paper argues that educators should now be allocating less time and attention to general education and more to projects at specifically targeted learning sites such as environmental and community service programs.
Focus groups are increasingly used in industry to elicit data on product users' less tangible needs and associated product symbolism. This can have a considerable impact on a product's subsequent sales and hence is commercially extremely valuable design research.
This paper provides an overview of an action research project which placed both a designer and an undergraduate designer, rather than a market researcher in direct contact with users in focus groups. The aim of the work was two-fold: firstly to develop a protocol for a designer to manage focus groups effectively, and secondly to see if this experience could improve the designer's ability to empathise with a range of users (socio-economic, culture, gender, age or abilities). In reporting the above, the paper also attempts to extrapolate the findings to a schools context; could focus group methods be used be used by students at a school level both as a vehicle for design research and as a learning tool?
This paper provides a background to focus group methods, together with their advantages and limitations. The action research project is described and three case studies within it are outlined. The protocols developed are described. The final section of the paper looks at the degree to which this work could be extrapolated to schools level design work both in the United Kingdom and internationally.
The new Proposals for Technology for England and Wales (DFE December 1992) suggest Design and Make Tasks (DMTs) ie. project work as being the major method of Design and Technology learning. This article has been primarily concerned with questions of motivation within project work but has touched on other-fundamental aspects. As a teaching/learning technique group project work has limitations as indicated above. However it would appear that many teachers do not recognise these limitations and produce poor practice. An example would be the frequent failure to use end of lesson debriefs to share individual's experience and to reflect. It is important that we now begin to develop a clearer understanding of project work as a learning experience. The DFE document offers little guidance; more research and debate is necessary to identify the assumptions and put forward practical advice on how to maximise the potential benefits of project work in Design and Technology.
This article reports on one outcome from a three-year study with pre-service primary teachers at Goldsmiths' College, University
of London. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the influence of participants' prior educational experience and beliefs
about the relationship between design & technology (D&T) and science on their lesson planning for these subjects during school
placements. Data from the study support a three-domain model of pre-service teachers' thinking and action. When operating
within the pragmatic domain, participants are primarily concerned with survival in the classroom, resulting in short-term planning which may contradict
their epistemological and curricular beliefs. In the pedagogical domain, the focus shifts from the pre-service teacher themselves and their immediate survival to the learning potential of
the activities they plan. There is evidence that some participants have progressed to operating within a philosophical domain, leading to clasroom practice which reflects and re-conceptualises pre-service teachers' core beliefs about the nature
of, and relationship between, D&T and science.
Rationalists assign primacy to rational thought, not to action; irrationalists dispute this. This discrepancy should be recast in view of recent modifications of rationalism.
Traditional rationalism ascribes rationality to demonstrated opinions; contemporary rationalism replaces this by some more moderate view. According to traditional rationalism the rationality of actions is borrowed from the rationality of the opinion on which they rest (given actors' goals and circumstances). This creates an unbridgeable chasm between thought and action. It is therefore better to view rationality as a quality of action alone, and take actors' knowledge to be a component of their circumstances, and their search for new knowledge as rational action. As the rationality of opinions, it is now viewed as a matter of tests, which is a rational activity, so that now thought and action may combine.
Scientific technology invites further reform of the theory of rationality, with the rejection of the old view of it as applied demonstrable opinion. Technological conduct often rests on institutionalized opinions, not on actors' personal opinions: institutions determine levels of rationality and of social responsibility. Scientific technology depends more on skills than on information; it thus differs from fully articulated knowledge and is differently institutionalized.
Scientific technology is an institutional complex of articulated knowledge and skills that depends on social responsibility. The irrationalist view of the primacy of tradition or of action precludes their rational control. Rational control is best attained by democratic legislation aimed at improving the performance level of technology and its contribution to the quality of life.
In recent years instructional design (ID) models have been a major focus of debate within the design community. The issue of creativity in ID is one area that has given rise to controversy. In this paper I present a topology of design questions and explore their potential contribution as a tool to promote reflection and designer discourse. First, I identify a topology of reflective action instructional design (RAID) questions. Next, I explore RAID within a community of design graduate students and its influences on design practices in terms of utility, originality, social contribution, and interest. Finally, I discuss ways to encourage reflection and designer discourse in design practice.
The purpose of this study was to explore the value and impact of social interaction upon children's design and technological thinking and actions. The study was based on the assumption that constructivistic driven and open-ended, creative design learning contexts enabled children to form, as well as to reconstruct, their designing and making capabilities and knowledge. Children were required, by means of open and closed teaching methods, to technologically create a particular product which used sound for a chosen purpose.
The resultant multiple data collection processes, using videos of children working, examination of children's completed projects and semi-structured interview techniques, enabled the authors to analyse childrens' acquisition of Design and Technology (D&T) knowledge.
Pupil's capabilities were seen to be enhanced through their direct, active, socio-cultural interactions, within a range of classroom settings, and involving different teaching methods, with respect to the primary curricula in UK and Finland.
This paper identifies the importance of both creativity and environmental sustainability for developing individual learners
and society as a whole. It suggests that sometimes these two concepts appear to be in tension and that, politically, each
is often championed by different communities. The relationship between creativity and environmental sustainability is explored
in three separate contexts: in a design and technology schools context where teenage learners are being facilitated to develop
creative responses within design briefs that include environmental considerations; through interviewing student teachers who
have undertaken an ecodesign project; and through interviews with professional ecodesign practitioners. The tensions, compromises
and contradictions evident where there is limited experience of environmental issues is contrasted with the level of optimisation
and creativity engaged when designers have more maturity in this area. Finally, some suggestions are made for taking forward
creativity and environmental sustainability in technology education through an ecodesign capability approach.
Construction-based activity in schools is an essential part of the design and technology curriculum. This paper examines issues
behind the evolution of construction kit based activity with a particular focus on some of the individuals who have invented
construction kits in the course of the last two hundred years. Consideration has been given to the range of possible influences
in their lives that may have shaped the creation of new kits -- especially childhood experiences with contemporary early construction
kits. The historical development and properties of construction kits are mainly explored from a structural perspective.
This study examines the influence of two crossed factors upon the performance of a subject whose aim is to understand the
functioning of a complex piece of technical apparatus, in this instance an automated arm from an assembly line. The primary
factor was the encoding degree of the third dimension which constitutes the representation of the object. The methods of presentation
were: a 3-D photograph, an axonometric perspective drawing and a first angle orthographic drawing. The second factor was professional
experience. The subjects were, on the one hand, first year technology pupils (15--16 year-olds) and, on the other hand, professional
draughtsmen from RENAULT. The results obtained with the 3-D photograph were twice as good as those obtained with the axonometric
perspective or the orthographic drawing. It should be pointed out that experience did not effect the score.
In France, project activities figure predominantly in technology education. The general idea behind learning based on project
activity is to allow the pupil to get involved in the activity in question, with the pupil tackling real situations rather
than ones of an abstract nature. But too often, we notice that the pedagogical strategies used by teachers in project activities
are not particularly effective from a learning point of view. What must be done in order to render project work in technology
teaching genuinely effective? In this article, we make the following suggestion: if specific help, based on the pupil’s level
of understanding of the activity relating to technologically based problem solving in project work, is made available by the
teacher, then project activity can become much more effective from a learning point of view. By using situations highlighting
project activities in the technology teaching domain, we analyse the knowledge used by pupils. We then present the specific
help used by the teacher as well as the resulting effects upon student activity. We highlight the fact that if specific help
conceived as a result of analysing student activity is put in place, the pupil learns more effectually.
KeywordsProject activity–Technology teaching–Help in problem solving
Inasmuch as design is a central activity in K-12 engineering education, understanding the students’ motivation during engaging
in engineering design activities will help educators to develop and evaluate strategies for engineering design challenges,
and improve curriculum. The objective of this study is to better understand the relationship between students’ interest and
expectancy for success while engaged in two design activities in grades 9–12. The primary difference between the two activities
was the strategy used to solve the design problems from a predictive analysis and a creative approach. Constructs of motivation
for students’ interest include task value (TV) and intrinsic goal orientation (IGO) and extrinsic goal orientation (EGO).
Expectancy for success includes control of learning beliefs and self-efficacy for learning and performance. In this study,
students (n=31) from three high schools that implement the Project Lead the Way curriculum in three states in the US participated in
the study. Immediately after completing their design projects, each student was asked to complete a modified version of the
Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire survey instrument which evaluates their interest and expectancy for success.
The results show that students were more intrinsically motivated to engage in a design activity that involves a predictive
analysis than a creative approach. No significant correlation was found between students’ expectancy for success and EGO in
design tasks that utilized either predictive analysis or creative approach. The study also found that TV and IGO were good
predictors for students’ expectancy for success. Demographic information associated with students’ motivation in the design
activities is also presented.
KeywordsMotivation–Design tasks–Interest–Expectancy for success
This study investigates young children’s perspectives in explaining a self-regulating mobile robot, as they learn to program
its behaviors from rules. We explore their descriptions of a robot in action to determine the nature of their explanatory
frameworks: psychological or technological. We have also studied the role of an adult’s intervention in their reasoning. The
study was conducted individually with six kindergarten children along five sessions that included tasks, ordered by increasing
difficulty. We developed and used a robotic control interface. We have found that the children employed two modes of explanation:
“engineering” mode focused on the technological building blocks which make up the robot’s operation; “bridging” mode tended
to combine and align two explanatory frameworks – technological and psychological. However, this was not consistent across
tasks. In the easiest tasks, involving one condition–action rule, most of the children used a technological perspective. When
the task became more difficult, most children shifted to a psychological perspective. Further experience in programming was
associated with a shift to technological or combined explanatory frameworks. The results are discussed with respect to developmental
literature on children’s explanatory frameworks, and with regard to educational implications of incorporating such learning
environments in early childhood classes.
It has been argued that design and technology can be used as a vehicle for teaching science and vice versa. In this paper, we report an investigation into Grade 6 students understandings of concepts embodied in the Systems strand of a technology syllabus as they grappled with a unit of work in technology for the first time. The unit of work involved students in the design and construction of simple systems, followed by experiences with more complex systems. Qualitative research methods were used to investigate the activities of the students as they engaged in the design and technology learning experiences for eight weeks. Data sources included student and teacher interviews, video and audio recordings of whole class and small group interactions, students notes, drawings and diagrams, and researchers field notes and reflections. Changes in students ability to identify the individual components and analyse how the components worked together in systems, and evidence of students use of scientific understandings for explanations, were noted as the unit of work progressed. An improvement was observed in students abilities to describe relationships between inputs, processes and outputs, and outline sequences of cause and effect. The technology and science appeared to be complementary as they developed technology specific and action-oriented technology and science language, which may be evidence of the presence of a community of learners. Recommendations are proposed for enhancing the value of both design and technology and science if both subjects are taught together as part of an integrated program in primary schools.
This study considered the utility of gender schema theory in examining girls' website design preferences. It built on a previous
study which identified eight website evaluation criteria related to biological sex: collaboration, social connectivity, flexibility,
motility, contextuality, personal identification, inclusion, and graphic/multimedia concentration. Eleven fourteen-, fifteen-,
and sixteen-year-old girls participated in the study. The participants completed the short form of the Children's Sex-Role
Inventory (CSRI). Following 50-minute Web searching sessions, they were divided into a feminine-high group and a masculine-high
group based on their CSRI scores. Each group then participated in interviews concerning their website evaluation and design
preferences. Data analysis identified relationships between gender schema and five of the proposed criteria: social connectivity,
flexibility, motility, inclusion, and graphic/multimedia concentration. More generally, members of the feminine-high group
favored evaluation criteria relating to graphic and multimedia design, whereas members of the masculine-high group favored
evaluation criteria relating to subject content. These results indicate that gender schema theory can indeed serve as a framework
for making website design more appealing to female adolescent users.
Education and training interventions can be evaluated through the success of learning outcomes. Kirkpatrick's four-level model
is a widely accepted and highly popular evaluation tool. However, some criticise the model's shortcomings. This article will
examine the extent to which the four-level model can evaluate design and technology students' learning about aesthetics after
an intervention by reporting our use of an augmented version of the four-level model. We examine the results in terms of students'
reaction to the intervention, their long-term learning and their behaviour changes by studying their visual analyses and drawings
through segment codes. We found that, in order to uncover the obscurities imbedded in aesthetics and to explicate the complexities,
we could not use the four-level-model on its own, but had to revert to a more augmented version.
The nature of progression in technology is still a matter of debate in technology education. While there is a growing research-based
literature exploring the elements of technological literacy that might be appropriate measures of progression, little has
been written about the factors that may influence both group and individual development of technological literacy. This article
reports the findings of a longitudinal ethnographic study of the progression in technological literacy of 20 children during
their first 3years at school. It focuses on the factors that affected their learning in technology, and identifies a number
of personal and systemic factors that affected progression in technological literacy. The implications of these findings for
teaching, and for further research are then explored.
The evolution of human–computer interaction design (HCID) over the last 20years suggests that there is a growing need for
educational scholars to consider new and more applicable theoretical models of interactive product design. The authors suggest
that such paradigms would call for an approach that would equip HCID students with a better understanding of the social context
of technology design and development. An intrinsic part of the proposed pedagogical model is the concept of affordance or
that which implicitly suggests to the user a particular kind of functionality of the product. According to cognitive theory,
people approach multi-functional mobile devices by building mental models of their functions, starting with physical appearance.
A case study of an HCID teaching strategy, based upon the primacy of affordance, highlights how students can be taught a range
of knowledge domains for product design to support creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
KeywordsHuman–computer interaction-Design-Social context-Affordance-Multimedia mobile device
This paper investigates the relationship between the affordance of the materials and the tools in one activity in an early childhood educational setting and the learning of the group of participating four-year-olds. The affordances are analysed as transparency, challenge and accessibility. The children's learning is analysed as emerging learning narratives that comprise intent, response to difficulty, and patterns of responsibility. Two major themes emerged from the investigation. The first is that historically- and socioculturally-determined social practice played a central role in the affordance of the activity. The second is that the relationship was a transactional process in which, through mediated action, the learners edited, selected from, and altered the educational setting, while at the same time the activity changed the learners. The research findings are set within the literature on affordance, learning narratives and social practice, with particular but not exclusive reference to early childhood settings.
The PATT (Pupils’ Attitude Towards Technology) questionnaire, as validated for the USA, was used to assess and analyse South
African learners’ attitudes towards technology. The responses of 500 girls and 510 boys, from the Gauteng Province in South
Africa, were analysed using a principal component and a principal factor analysis. The explained variance was rather low and
indicated that the questionnaire needed adaptation for the South African context. The outcomes of the research were positive
in that there were no significant differences regarding the gender attitudes that ‘technology should be for all’ and that
‘technology makes contributions to society’. The fact that girls have a stronger gender discrimination view related to themselves
regarding technology needs to be addressed in future curriculum development issues.
Various instruments measuring either technological literacy or pupils’ attitudes towards technology are available. Recent research has emphasised that these instruments have not been validated for the South African context, yielded invalid and unreliable data for this specific context, and should therefore be adapted (Ankiewicz, Myburgh & Van Rensburg, 1996; Van Rensburg, Ankiewicz & Myburgh, 1996a, 1996b, 1999).
The concept technology profile refers to learners’ knowledge and understanding of technology, their awareness of it, their values and attitudes towards technology, and their technological capability. It also refers to the extent to which these aspects have become part of the learners’ personality, beliefs, perceptions and behaviour. At the PATT (South Africa) Conference, held during October 1996, the developments regarding the design of an Attitudinal Technology Profile (ATP) questionnaire to evaluate the effects of curricula on the technology profile of learners in South African schools, were reported. At the time of the conference, the ATP questionnaire still had to be applied in order to establish its reliability and validity (Ankiewicz et al., 1996, p. 90). This article reports on this application of the ATP questionnaire.
A quantitative pilot study was undertaken among 439 South African learners in Grades 9 and 10 in the Gauteng Province in the Johannesburg/Soweto area to determine their attitudinal technology profile. Differences among the learners with regard to their exposure to Technology Education, as well as gender differences, were also investigated. The conclusion is that the ATP questionnaire provides more reliable and valid results than its western counterpart that have been applied in South Africa.
One of the recommendations made in the discussion document,A Curriculum Model for Education in South Africa (CUMSA), which was released by the Department of National Education in 1991, is that technology education should be offered for the first nine years of pre-tertiary education as a compulsory subject and for the last three years as an optional subject. This paper aims to locate technology education in the context of the sociopolitical and economic background to education in South Africa and to assess to what extent it meets the emerging aims and needs of education. Further aims are to propose a rationale for the teaching of technology at school level in South Africa, to suggest possible broad aims for the teaching of technology, to outline the nature and character of technology education relevant to the South African situation and to propose a possible methodology for technology education in South Africa. The conclusion is reached that technology education can make an important contribution to South African education if the so-called technological process is the major emphasis as this can be transformative and promote quality education.
The paper explores the adoption of the social dimensions of sustainability in technological design tasks. It uses a lens which
contrasts education for sustainability as ‘a frame of mind’ with an attempt to bridge a ‘value-action gap’. This lens is used
to analyse the effectiveness of the Sustainable Design Award, an intervention in post-16 technology education in three countries
to encourage students and teachers to strengthen design for sustainability in their work. In each country, the intervention
project provided varying combinations of teacher professional development, provision of learning resources, in school student
support, lobbying of key curriculum policy makers and a student Award. Three types of teacher are identified by reference
to their motivation for introducing sustainability into their teaching of design. These teacher types are linked to a hierarchy
of teachers’ understanding of the social dimension of sustainability. The consequences for continuous professional development
are examined. The findings are then used to critique the value of the lens.
This paper examines some of the many problems and issues associated with integrating new and developing technologies into the education of future designers. As technology in general races ahead challenges arise for both commercial designers and educators on how best to keep track and utilise the advances. The challenge is particularly acute within tertiary education where the introduction of new cutting edge technology is often encouraged. Although this is generally achieved through the feedback of research activity, integrating new concepts at an appropriate level is a major task. Of particular concern is how focussed areas of applied technology can be made part of the multidisciplinary scope of design education.
The paper describes the model used to introduce areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to undergraduate industrial design students. The successful interaction of research and education within a UK higher education establishment are discussed and project examples given. It is shown that, through selective tuition of research topics and appropriate technical support, innovative design solutions can result. In addition, it shows that by introducing leading edge and, in some cases, underdeveloped technology, specific key skills of independent learning, communication and research methods can be encouraged.
Researchers in science and technology studies (STS) are in the process of dismantling the conventional human-machine and nature-society-technology boundaries solidified by C. P. Snow and generations of designers, engineers, researchers, scientists and teachers. Using the case of computer aided design (CAD), I argue that by combining the sociopolitical knowledge of STS with technical knowledge we can finally and forcefully bring an end to technical education. To make this argument, I draw on my experiences in teaching CAD in post-secondary institutions in design, engineering, and teacher education. Theories and practices are described to assist design and technology educators with the dilemma of addressing sociopolitical knowledge.
Sciences and technology study and technological jobs are deserted by girls. Many measurements were set up in the study to
find an issue. But not enough researches learn over this question as part of education study, in other words on the process
of transmission. Indeed they ignore for instance, if certain contents, certain types of activities, certain forms of studies,
certain gestures of education and scholastic shapes are better adapted to the girls than to the boys and conversely. This
article is centred on these aspects and more precisely on artefacts used to mediatise the education of technology. The teacher
choice of aids is made in mainly for the pedagogic interest which the object gives. Is the pedagogic interest balanced from
the point of view of the question of gender if artefacts introduced in class favour objects which are, in social life, mainly
used by men, women or both?