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Young children’s views of the technology process: an exploratory study

  • Louise Milne
  • Richard Edwards
Article

Abstract

This paper describes an exploratory study of an aspect of the technological knowledge of two groups of five-year-old students in their first year at school. Their emerging understandings of the steps required to develop a new product were investigated through a series of interviews. A theoretical framework linking technological knowledge to ‘funds of knowledge’ from experiences outside the classroom supported the analysis. The data suggest that young children draw on a broad range of experiences and knowledge, often uncritically, in order to explain how things are made. They are able to transfer their understandings of the technological process from one experience to another particularly when they have the language and background experiences to support them. Of particular note however, is that they were often unfamiliar with the properties of materials and therefore unable to anticipate the processes necessary to convert raw materials into a final product. The research also highlighted some key considerations for working with young children in this area.

Keywords

Young children Technological knowledge Technology education Socio-cultural Funds of knowledge 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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