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Exploring the capability of evaluating technical solutions: a collaborative study into the primary technology classroom
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Teaching and Learning in the Humanities (CeHum). KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804, Vol. 24, no 1, 1-18 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Within the field of technology education, evaluating technical solutions is considered as an important topic. Research indicates that pupils have difficulties in evaluating technical solutions in terms of fitness for purpose, i.e. how effective a technical solution supports its intended function. By using the learning study, which is an iterative and collaborative research approach, the study explores the capability to evaluate technical solutions in terms of fitness for purpose, what it takes to know it and how to best enhance its learning in the primary technology classroom. Audio and video recorded interviews, teachers' meetings and lessons are the base data for the study. A contribution of the study is the understanding of this specific knowing, and what is critical for learning and thus to an improvement of technology teaching practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 24, no 1, 1-18 p.
Keyword [en]
Fitness for purpose, Function, Learning, Learning study, Primary technology education, Teaching
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Educational Sciences in Arts and Professions
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98737DOI: 10.1007/s10798-013-9240-1ISI: 000331770700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-98737DiVA: diva2:685250
Available from: 2014-01-09 Created: 2014-01-09 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Konstruktioner som fungerar: En studie av teknikkunnande i de tidiga skolåren
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Konstruktioner som fungerar: En studie av teknikkunnande i de tidiga skolåren
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Constructions in function : A study of technical knowing in primary technology education
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to explore the meaning of technical knowing in primary technology education. This is done by identifying and describing ways of knowing in relation to specific content (so-called objects of learning) of the school subject of technology. The purpose is to contribute to the body of teachers’ professional knowledge concerning primary technology education. In this thesis, the subject of technology is seen as representing technical knowledge traditions, characterized by specific ways of developing knowledge. Moreover, the knowledge is to a great extent embedded in actions. This perspective on technical knowing challenges the traditional distinction between theoretical and practical knowledge.  

Data were generated through two Learning studies conducted in primary schools.  Learning study is a classroom-based, interventionistic research approach, in which teachers collaborate with a researcher, focusing on specific objects of learning, that is, on what the students are supposed to learn. In the studies, the capability to evaluate the fitness for purpose of technical solutions, and to construct a linkage mechanism allowing for transferring and transforming movement were examined. Students’ actions were video-recorded in order to document verbal and physical expressions of knowing.

The data were analysed using phenomenographic analysis, resulting in descriptions of specific ways of knowing in terms of complexity, as well as critical aspects to discern in order to develop the knowing. The findings from the first study describe knowing in terms of discerning functions related to different types of users, as well as aspects of the construction in order to realize functions. The second study identified technical knowing as a specified analysis of the construction in terms of location and separation of joints in relation to different functions. These findings were then used to identify technical knowing in video material generated within another teaching context. The results suggest that knowledge concerning knowing of specific objects of learning related to the evaluation and construction of technical solutions is partly generalizable. In addition, the specified knowledge concerning the meaning of the object of learning generated during the Learning study process was described. This knowledge is suggested to be an important knowledge product of Learning studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm University, 2015
Keyword
technology education, primary school, Learning study, phenomenography, variation theory, knowledge, knowing
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Educational Sciences in Arts and Professions
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119231 (URN)978-91-7649-211-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-09-18, Reinholdsalen, Juristernas hus, Frescativägen 16, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Submitted.

Available from: 2015-08-27 Created: 2015-08-03 Last updated: 2017-01-05Bibliographically approved

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