So you're teaching technology
These six introductory modules present some key concepts, resources, and insights from research for you to explore with your colleagues or on your own.
They may be particularly useful for teachers who are new to technology education (or to teaching technology in New Zealand) and for teachers in charge of technology.
Module 5: Insights from research
Research tells us that within effective technology education:
- Students' learning is situated within a well-planned, coherent teaching and learning programme that spans at least two or three years.
- Contexts are selected because they will support student understanding of the focus component(s).
- Technological modelling is taught across contexts and not just in conjunction with the students’ own practice so that they understand what it is and why it is important.
- Teaching about technological systems focuses on relatively simple systems that students can examine or visualise (avoiding digital systems in the early years).
- Characteristics of technology is singled out for specific teaching as well as woven through teaching in the other components – regular revisiting and reinforcing of concepts helps correct student misconceptions. Teaching characteristics of technology in both of these ways benefits students’ overall understanding and achievement in technology.
- Teachers work together to support one another when planning and delivering technology programmes – introducing and embedding technological concepts and practice takes time.
The research also suggests that:
- If students have not previously experienced a well planned, coherent technology programme, their understanding will very likely fall short of curriculum expectations (for example, some students in years 7–8 may still be at curriculum level 1). In such situations the teaching and learning programme should be designed to develop the skills and understandings needed to bridge the gap.
- Students who have a sound understanding of the concepts that underpin technological modelling are in a better position to justify the technological outcomes they produce as fit for purpose.
Questions to think about or discuss
- Consider each of the bulleted points above: Which ones are issues in your school?
- What are the implications for your school of the third point (students not experiencing a well-planned, coherent programme)?
- Based on these points, can you see priorities for you and your school? What steps are needed?
Module 1: What is technological literacy? | Module 2: Teacher knowledge | Module 3: Key resources | Module 4: A coherent teaching programme across levels | Module 5: Insights from research | Module 6: Next steps
Columba College has a 3 year technology plan for their primary school. Dorothy Hutton, the teacher-in-charge of years 0–6 technology, works with the teachers to ensure the plan is implemented and to share knowledge.
Year 3–4 students plan and make night-lights within the second of three units focused on technological systems.