Problematising and unpacking the uncertainty of design within technology education


  • Manus McDyer Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest
  • Jeffrey Buckley
  • Rónán Dunbar
  • Nicolaas Blom
  • Niall Seery


Design, Designing, Technology education, Problematising


Technology education is a growing field internationally where developments are being made to conform to new agendas and goals of today’s society. The role of technology education is to improve the quality of human life through making meaningful advancements to our lives and the world we live in, which is underpinned by an innate ability that all humans possess, the ability to design. Developing designerly members of society that have strong design capability is identified as being of upmost importance, particularly within education. Fostering designerly students effectively and successfully is a complex domain and is evident within a large literature base, where researchers are trying to understand design, what it should look like in practice, and how it can be successfully developed and fostered within education. Design is a key component within technology education curricula, where teachers and students are required to engage in design tasks and activities in an attempt to foster an ability to design.  Design is highly complex in nature and with ambiguity within the literature surrounding the construct of design ability, what defines the design process and what cognitive processes are necessary to design, leaves educators and students in an area of unknown.  

In this paper, a theoretical model is presented and utilised to problematise and unpack the uncertainty of design within technology education.  The unknown of designing is worse than the problems themselves, which is why this paper offers an initial attempt at identifying these problems through the lens of understanding, teaching and learning designing. Results offer insight into the problems and challenges associated with designing in technology education with the aim and objective to identify future research areas.

Key words: Design, Designing, Technology Education, Problematising

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How to Cite

McDyer, M., Buckley, J., Dunbar, R., Blom, N., & Seery, N. (2023). Problematising and unpacking the uncertainty of design within technology education. The 40th International Pupils’ Attitudes Towards Technology Conference Proceedings 2023, 1(October). Retrieved from