Interpretation of Technology in curriculum documents – a comparative analysis
conference contributionposted on 03.05.2006, 15:44 by Margarita Pavlova
This paper is set up to examine the understanding of technology in curriculum documents of four countries - Australia, the UK, the USA and Russia, and to provide a basis for possible ways of expanding knowledge about technology in technology education curriculum. On the theoretical level, the understanding of technology is controversial, partly because it is developed by different disciplines. In the paper two broad categories, taken from the philosophy of technology, will be used for the analysis of curriculum documents: engineering (applied science) - humanities approaches and technological - value-driven (social) determinism. The comparison is presented in the table. Then the argument will be developed that a more critical and more balanced view on technology is needed for developing an adequate concept of knowledge about technology in technology education. A more critical view could include: reasonable doubt in technological progress; technology can escape from the peoples' control; the integration of people and society into the technical world; the relationship between power and technological knowledge; uncertainty should be treated more seriously. A more balanced view has to reflect, on one hand, that development of technology depends on human values, and on the other hand that it has its own laws of development. This proposal is based on the Ellul's analysis of technology.
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