2008 PATT conference
For more than two decades technology education has been striving to position itself in the main stream of the curriculum as a discipline in its own right. On the one hand, some claim that the community of technology educators should stress the role of technology education in fostering students’ general intellectual skills or higher order thinking skills, such as problem solving, creative thinking, critical thinking and teamwork. The problem is that educators in other fields, for example, science, mathematics, history and geography, claim exactly the same thing.
Can we refine and define this contribution to the wider agenda of general education?
On the other hand, there are members in our community who think that we must focus on the unique knowledge and skills students acquire in learning technology. For example: design, technological literacy , epistemological knowledge on the nature of technology and its contribution to humankind, the advantages and disadvantages of technology, or specific knowledge in subjects such as computing, electronics, control systems and robotics. The problem with this view is that some educational researchers or decision-makers would argue that this knowledge is essential for only a small portion of school graduates, or that it is too complicated and expensive to teach these subjects in school, since technology is changing all the time. Those members might not consider the contribution question as an issue or at least see the contribution of technology education to general education only as a by-product of technology education