Teaching Technological Knowledge: determining and supporting student learning of technological concepts

  • Vicki J. Compton
  • Ange D. Compton


This paper reports on findings related to Technological Knowledge from Stage Two of the Technological Knowledge and Nature of Technology: Implications for teaching and learning (TKNoT: Imps) research project undertaken in 2009. A key focus in Stage Two was the trialing of different teaching strategies to determine how learning related to the components Technological Modelling (TM), Technological Products (TP) and Technological Systems (TS) could be supported. These components fall within the Technological Knowledge (TK) strand of technology in the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) (Ministry of Education, 2007) and as such, reflect the key generic concepts or ‘big ideas’ of technology. During this stage of the research further exploration was also undertaken to determine how student understanding of these three components of technology education progressed from level 1 to 8 of the NZC (Ministry of Education, 2007). This resulted in a significant review of the Indicators of Progression for TM, TP and TS, providing clarification of the nature of the progression expected of students in each component as well as increased teacher guidance to support such progression. Common misconceptions, partial understandings and alternative concepts related to these components were confirmed and explained and five case studies were developed to illustrate strategies employed by teachers and their impact on student learning related to these three components.


Technological Knowledge Technological Modelling Technological Products Technological Systems Progression Common misconceptions Partial understandings Alternative concepts 



We would like to thank all the teachers and students involved in this research. Their willingness to share their thinking with us was critical to the success of this project. We are thankful to the New Zealand Ministry of Education for funding the TKNoT: Imps research specifically, and acknowledge the high level of support they provide technology education through funding ongoing research and curriculum development.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UniServices, The University of AucklandWellingtonNew Zealand

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