ERIC Number: ED373446
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Knowledge in Action? An Ethnographic Study of High School Design and Technology.
Jenkins, Edgar W.
In any democratic system, the schooling of technology is ultimately a matter of negotiation at a variety of levels, even when, as currently in England and Wales, the central government seeks to define a statutory technology curriculum. This paper presents findings of a study that examined the technology education provided in three high schools in northern England. Specifically, the study sought to describe the curricular, pedagogical, institutional, and other dimensions of school technology education in the three schools and to examine the ways in which they attempted to develop and assess students'"technological capability." The study was conducted during 1990-92, after the passage of the 1988 Education Act but before the relevant parts of the statutory order defining the technology curriculum came into effect. Data were derived through observation, document analysis, and interviews with relevant teaching staff and some students in year 10. Findings indicate that the schooling of technological activity is shaped by two processes--curricularization and intellectualization. The schools reflected what might be called "design" and "application" approaches to the construction of a school-technology curriculum. However, whatever approach is used, it is susceptible to the movement toward intellectual codification and away from the practical. The programs lacked a balance between the quality of and pride in technological artifacts themselves and a recognition of the cognitive dimension of technical practice. (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).