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Ministry of Education.
Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe; e kore to tātou waka e ū ki uta

Combining knowledge and practice

Steve Andrew explains how understanding materials is essential for effective technological practice.  

Duration: 01:58


Our students come from a range of schools within the Waikato. There’s about 20 schools that are contributing schools to our college. Some of them have got technology background from their previous schools, but quite a few of them just come in with very little knowledge.

But I think it is really important to understand that you know the students, and I think it generally goes right across the country, that students entering secondary school are coming in with a very low technological literacy level, and we’ve got to be aware of that so that we know we can pick a really good starting point. And I don’t think we should be afraid to start at a low level. It gives us the awareness that the students have got that knowledge as we are moving on.

For a while now, the focus in technology has been on technological practice, but we’ve got these two new strands now that have been introduced to us and I find that the technological knowledge strand really supports the teaching that I’m trying to deliver to my students.

I focus on technological products, because I believe that the materials component in the products fits really well into what we’re doing. So when I talk to my students, I regularly have examples of products that we talk about the materials and the components and the way that they have been manipulated and that sort of thing.

I was once told, or once read an article, that 90% of product failure is due to materials failure or incorrect materials. And that kind of brought back to me how important materials were to our subject, and I think now that we’ve got that focus with the product strand it gives us some real depth to work on. Where I come from, from a trade background, you know materials and processing and manipulation and that just come naturally, and I think that that is what’s important to deliver to our students.

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