ERIC Number: EJ1043496
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0957 7572
Effects of Company Visits on Dutch Primary School Children's Attitudes toward Technical Professions
Post, Tim; Walma van der Molen, Juliette H.
International Journal of Technology and Design Education, v24 n4 p349-373 Nov 2014
Technology-oriented company visits could potentially provide children with a stimulating "real-world" setting to develop more broad and positive images of and attitudes toward technology and technical professions. The present study was the first to explore whether children's images of and attitudes toward technology, technical competencies and technical professions could be affected by technology-oriented company visits, as they are presently carried out in the Netherlands. A previously validated measurement instrument was used to measure children's images and attitudes prior to and after the visits and results were compared to similar measurements among children who did not take part in the visits. In addition, based on recent review studies about school visits to science centers, we derived several key theoretical guidelines for organizing effective school visits. Based on these guidelines, structured interviews were carried out with all teachers prior to the company visits. Results indicated that children's images and attitudes remained mostly unaffected by the company visits, a finding that could be explained by the fact that the level of in-school preparation, follow-up activities and teachers' level of involvement during the visits was generally low. In addition, observations during the visits showed that the activities at the technical companies were mostly "hands-on" and stereotypical (e.g., working with machines). Based on these findings, we formulate a set of new guidelines for technology-oriented company visits that could improve the desired attitudinal effects.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Elementary School Students, Student Attitudes, Technical Occupations, Technology, Competence, Structured Interviews, Elementary School Teachers, Attitude Measures, Field Trips, School Business Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A