Technology Education as Solo Activity or Socially Constructed Learning



There is a continuing perception that current educational arrangements for technology education in modern liberal democracies are at odds with its actual delivery in the classroom (Dakers & Doherty 2003). The ‘technè versus poiesis’ tension (explained later) is one major contributor to this perception. Equally, the practice of ‘transmission versus constructivist’ pedagogies contributes to the mismatch between policy and practice.

This paper will investigate how factors relating to these two contributions affect the delivery of technological education. It will begin by discussing the derivation of the word ‘technology’ and how its modern incarnation has become not only amorphous, but confusing for technology education, in that the term can be taken to mean production on the one hand or process on the other. It will then explore technology teachers’ perceptions (and misperceptions) of what constitutes technology education, and discuss why this can lead to confusion. It will further consider how this can affect the pedagogy adopted. It will then examine two pedagogical frameworks which result from teachers’ perceptions of technology education as either; a process of internalisation of technological skills and functions as representations exclusively within the mind and unique to the individual, thus solo, or; a process of technological skills and functions embedded in sociocultural activity in which cognition is distributed across the internal mind and the external environment. Finally, the paper will offer a framework for the delivery of technology education set within a ‘community of learners’ paradigm.


community collaboration technological literacy internalisation externalisation 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education, Department of Educational StudiesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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