Timeless, socially relevant engineering knowledge and skills for future technology education
Keywords:technology education, engineering education, timeless knowledge
The aim of technology education in primary and secondary school is that students should acquire skills and knowledge that are useful not only today, but also when they are adults. Students’ knowledge and skills need to include aspects of engineering and crafts as well as social implications of technology, which together develops creativity, useful everyday skills, critical thinking, and more. This leads to special challenges for technology teacher education, which has to look forward and focus on future challenges. The training needs to focus on timeless skills and be both about and for the technological future. Exactly which knowledge and skills that are best suited for this endeavour is not in any way clear. The purpose of this paper is to find the timeless and socially relevant engineering methods and skills that could and should be taught in primary and secondary school to increase the likelihood that students are properly prepared for the future. The project has an exploratory approach. Data was collected through focus group interviews with different participant groups: technology teachers in lower and upper secondary school, teacher students aiming to become technology teachers, and teachers working in academic teacher training programmes. The results show that the question about timeless knowledge has rarely been discussed in these groups. They had no clear answers, but ended up mainly in traditional technology education content: writing technical reports, learning strategies for design and product development work, and fundamentals of computer programming. The results suggest that the respondents believed strongly in pupils’ ability to transfer skills and knowledge between domains.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Per Norström, Susanne Engström, Birgit Fahrman
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