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The multiple meanings of technological practice in technology education in New Zealand

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posted on 27.06.2008, 14:47 by Robyn Smits
Understanding the nature of technological practice is one of the eight achievement objectives specified in the New Zealand technology curriculum (Ministry of Education, 1995). Despite only a small place within the curriculum document, technological practice has become a key concept used in the professional development of teachers and the assessment of technology. This paper describes some of the different points of view about the meaning of technological practice. It also summarises some initial results from a survey canvassing views on technological practice held by those involved in leadership positions in technology education in New Zealand. Experiences of technological practice seem to be genuinely helpful in building teachers’ understanding of technology. However, how these translate into what teachers and children do in classrooms is less clear. Though this research suggests that most leaders in technology education agree that children meet the curriculum aims through technological practice I ask whether this approach locks us into always valuing technology and constrains the possibilities of being critical. Finally, an alternative to the definition of technological practice listed on the New Zealand Ministry of Education website is suggested.



  • Design

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  • D&T Association Conference Series


SMITS, R., 2000. The multiple meanings of technological practice in technology education in New Zealand. IN: Kimbell, R. (ed.). Design and Technology International Millennium Conference. Wellesbourne : The D&T Association, pp. 176-189.



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This is a conference paper.