PATT stands for Pupils’ Attitude Towards Technology but in the recent PATT conference I was privileged to attend it was lightheartedly suggested by Prof. Marc J. de Vries to run a new research on “Politicians Attitude Towards Technology “.
The technology education is in a quest for survival all over the world. Australia, USA and Israel painted a gloomy picture on the place technology is taking. What technology is and the way it is perceived all over the world is one of the main issue key holders in technology education deals with at the moment.
“Preaching to the converters” by some of the presenters on what is technology and why it is important to include technology as a subject in the curriculum. Although no need to convince the converters it was a good reminder for those “building the ark while no one believes the storm is coming and everyone thinks it is a ridiculous thing to do” (Prof. Marc J. de Vries)
Interesting presentations were also given on the integration of technology with subjects such as Science, Math and Languages, proof that the technological process or the design process fosters in learners higher thinking skills such as problem solving, creativity, teamwork and critical thinking all of which can be applied to any subject.
The highlight of the conference, for me, was the visit to ORT Israel schools and also the presentations by various parties in Israel (such as TLV University) on the introduction of engineering and robotics as from Foundation Phase up to Matrics. While we struggle with the image of technology, those highly developed technologies projects may validate the importance of the subject and therefore are worthwhile exploring for throughout the world.
Teachers’ pre-service and in-service training curriculums were discussed and workshoped, different researches on technology attitudes, implementation, various assessments etc were presented and shared.
Great organization by ORT Israel and especially by Osnat Dagan and Dov Kipperman completed the conference with Israeli family oriented atmosphere, visit to Zichron Yaakov winery and loads of Israeli yummy food.
Oh, remember the debate?
Technology education should be positioned in the main stream as a discipline in its own right. (Therefore the question is what is technology contributing to the general knowledge that other disciplines don’t?)
Rather technology education must focus on the unique knowledge and skills students acquire in learning technology. (But then some may argue that this specific knowledge and skills only applies to a small portion of the students’ community or that it is more costly).
There was a panel composed by the best academic in the field of technology education but as in many debates in life, politics, and even education no agreement was reached.
It was concluded that there is still hope for technology education we just need patience, perseverance and prophets like Prof. Marc , Yoel, Dov and others…
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Yours in technology