June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
26.1497.1 - 26.1497.15
Does practical work develop student learning in technology? (Fundamental)Teaching technology and engineering for children in primary and secondary school in Swedenis by tradition both theoretically and practically oriented and teachers plan their teachingaccordingly. In this study we explore the teachers’ use of practical work methods whenteaching technology.In Sweden technology is a mandatory subject in compulsory school since the mid-1980s. Itsorigins are in metal- and wood-work but have developed into a trans-disciplinary subjectwhich includes crafts as well as engineering science and the history of technology. Thecurrent syllabus, introduced in 2011, divides the subject into three core content areas:technological solutions, working methods for developing technological solutions andtechnology, man, society and the environment. This includes mechanics, materials,electronics, automatic control, the product development process, and technology’s relation toscience, to society at large and to the fine arts.Based on a phenomenographic research approach we explore how practical work and theoryconnect, what teachers want to achieve through pupils hand-on-activities and their attitudetowards practical work.Data collections include interviewed secondary school teachers in the Stockholm area whoteach 13 to15 year old pupils. We are in particular interested in teachers’ design of teaching;how they plan and use practical work (such as design and make activities) in their teaching.The results so far indicate that teachers frequently use practical exercises when teachingtechnology, but have very different ideas about the role of practical work in the subject as awhole. This includes both how theory should be applied and also how much time practicalwork should be given in the classroom. One of the respondents considered practical work asthe most important way for students to experience technology and therefore dedicates mostlessons to that kind of activities. Other respondents consider practical work as a method toimprove understanding and emphasized the importance of interplay between theory andpractice, which meant that practical work was used only when considered necessary.Findings indicate that the variety of teacher’s thoughts about practical work is extensive andwide and therefore have implications for further studies conducted in areas such as: teachersplanning and teachers’ implementation of practical exercises.
Fahrman, B., & Gumaelius, L. B., & Norström, P. G. (2015, June), Technology Education in Primary School in Sweden: A Study of Teachers' Views on Teaching Strategies and Subject Content Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24834
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