ERIC Number: EJ813505
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
An Examination of the Interaction between Modelling and Its Relationship with Construction Kits: Lessons from the Past and for the Future
Parkinson, Eric F.
International Journal of Technology and Design Education, v14 n3 p219-243 Oct 2004
Construction kits have played a significant part in nurturing the growth and development of the minds and manipulation-based skills of children (and adults) in formal and non-formal education settings. These kits have origins rooted in the representation of the built world and now have a diversity of form and function, including technical versions with moving parts. This article examines some of the historically based ideas that lie behind the role that kits may have in terms of physical modelling. The article traces the transformation of kits from simple bricks and blocks into more complicated pieces for space-filling and achieving the transfer of forces and motion. This transformation occurred during the Victorian era when the influence of the ideas of educationalists and, perhaps rather strangely, exponents of early aviation, played major roles in determining the diversity of forms of construction kit and modelled possibilities that are now to be seen in classrooms and homes. The article ends with a review of some of the lessons from the past and present that will need to be considered in relation to concrete modelling in schools for the future.
Descriptors: Visual Aids, Technology Education, Design, Educational History, Science History, Manipulative Materials, Construction (Process), Structural Elements (Construction), Models, Class Activities
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A