Discourses of technology education
conference contributionposted on 05.05.2006, 12:01 by Lyn Peacock
The paper examines the potential of policy discourses in an educational reform process to produce regimes of truth about what comprises technology education. The discourses which form the analysis are to be found in education policy, curriculum texts, minutes of curriculum committees, and programmes provided to upgrade teacher expertise in a situation where, in New South Wales, mandatory study of Design and Technology has replaced previous study in industrial arts and home economics. Foucault believed that, whilst discourses were comprised of a group of statements that function together to form a regime or version of what is allowable to think and do, these discourses represented but a partial narrative of the world. The contestation between teacher groups with vested interests about the nature of technology curriculum can be addressed with reference to Bernstein's rules of distribution, recontextualising and evaluation as part of pedagogic discourse. Curriculum developed outside the classroom is constantly modified and redeveloped as part of the prevailing social and economic context of schooling. Discourses thus have a shelf life which reflects varying positions of power at an historical point in time.
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