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

Element 4 Aspect 3: Teaching Practice

  Teacher Education – Pre-service

Element 4

Aspect 3: Teaching Practice
To understand how to deliver effective technology education.

Aspect Purpose
To help student teachers recognise the importance of context specific knowledge and skills, offers the opportunity to experience technology in action and understand good practice in technology.

Key Words: Context specific knowledge and skills, good practice, delivery


Chapter Review

"Performance Portfolios … Problems, Potentials and Policy"

Review Statement
In this chapter, Kimbell explores the nature of performance assessment in technology, specifically the nature of portfolios that typically act as a basis for assessment. He questions the current practice in the United Kingdom and describes common failings, as determined though a series of research projects from Goldsmith University of London.

He then goes on to describe what he terms as the transformation of portfolios from "a pretty end-product" of real time e-portfolios, which he describes as "the 'trace left behind' by purposeful activity". Embracing new technology to create e-portfolios does not change the ethical or conceptual purpose of the portfolio but does have the potential to transform the assessment of technology, in that a digital format enables the capture and valuing of capability.

Commentary: In my opinion, his chapter introduces some common concerns about assessment in technology and offers a solution that has the potential to become common practice, especially if NZQA or the Ministry of Education introduce e-portfolio as an assessment tool for the NCEA.

I found the middle section of this paper a little complex and of lesser relevance to those interested in finding out about e-portfolios. I wouldn't use the chapter as a reading as a whole but certainly there are aspects around assessment practice and the use of portfolios that are worth exploring.

Kimbell R, (2009), "Performance portfolios … problems, potentials and policy", in A.T Jones and M.J de Vries (eds), International Handbook of Research and Development in Technology Education, Rotterdam. Sense Publishers. Section Chapter 42 Pg. 509.

Keywords: Assessment, portfolio, e-portfolio

Reviewed by Wendy Fox-Turnbull.


"Developing technology in early childhood settings"

Review Statement
The paper focuses on recognising and enhancing technological learning opportunities in early childhood and discusses how important teacher understandings and resources are to support children's emerging interests.

Two complementary approaches to learning in technology in ECE are discussed. While a resource-based approach supports spontaneous learning, a structured approach employs a project approach, for example creating a worm farm. This approach explores a more in-depth line, which follows children's developing interests.

The paper identifies how important the provision of differing resources are for children's learning, teachers' own understandings to enhance technological literacy, and how children's technological interests can be developed over longer periods of time.

With the inclusion of a useful list of implementation strategies is, this helpful, informative text should assist early childhood teachers to recognise technological learning in an early childhood learning environment.

Mawson, B. (2002). "Developing technology in early childhood settings". Early Education, 29 (Winter), 11-16.

Keywords: resource based approach, structured approach

Reviewed by Moira Patterson.

Journal Article

"Knowledge types in technology"

Review statement
This paper explores different types of technological knowledge. Of particular interest is a section that discusses the acquisition of intrinsic experiential tacit knowledge and the problems associated with acquiring this type of knowledge in technology education.

Ropohl, G. (1997). "Knowledge types in technology". International Journal of Technology and Design Education 7, 65-72.

Keywords: intrinsic, extrinsic knowledge, tacit knowledge

Reviewed by Moira Patterson.

Journal Article

"Enhancing Technological Practice: An Assessment Framework for Technology Education in New Zealand"

Review Statement
This paper provides a valuable insight into the development of technological literacy in students and describes the Technology Assessment Framework (TAF) tool developed to provide guidance for teachers developing and delivering technology programmes.

Although these developments took place from 1999 to 2000, the work is of value and provides background understandings, which underpin much of what is practiced today.

Compton, V.J. and Harwood, C.D. (2003) "Enhancing Technological Practice: An assessment framework for technology education in New Zealand". International Journal of Design and Technology Education Vol 13, #1, 1-26. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/B%3AITDE.0000039567.67842.c3.

Keywords: Sociocultural Theory; Technological Literacy; Technology Assessment Framework (TAF); Technological Practice.

Reviewed by Bruce Granshaw.

Book Review

Design and Technology: Inside the Black Box

Review Statement
The booklet offers advice on how to interact with students effectively to promote their learning. The specific aim of the book is the improvement of learning in technology.

This book rests heavily on Black and Wiliam's work reported in their book Inside the Black Box and subsequent work by the GL Assessment Reform Group. It works on the premise that assessment should promote students learning.

Moreland, J., Alister Jones, A., and Barlex, D. (2008), Design and Technology: Inside the Black Box, The Black Box Assessment for Learning Series. Editors: Paul Black, Christine Harrison, Bethan Marshall and Dylan Wiliam, London: GL Assessment Group. ISBN 978 0 7087 1764 6

Reviewed by Wendy Fox-Turnbull.

Keywords: Formative Assessment, promoting learning, classroom dialogue, feedback, peer and self assessment

Book Reviews


  • Unlocking Formative Assessment
  • Enriching Feedback in the Primary Classroom
  • Formative Assessment in Action: Weaving the Elements Together


Clarke, S., Timperley, H. & Hattie, J. (2003), Unlocking Formative Assessment, Auckland: Hodder Moa Beckett

Clarke, S., (2003), Enriching Feedback in the Primary Classroom, Abingdon: Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 0 340 87258 6

Clarke, S., (2005), Formative Assessment in Action: Weaving the Elements Together, Abingdon: Hodder & Stoughton ISBN 0 340 90782 7

Review Statement
These three books by Clarke introduce formative assessment in the primary classroom.

In the first, she worked with Timperley and Hattie to introduce the concept of articulating intended learning to students and co-constructing success criteria within the New Zealand context.

Books 2 and 3 are written for the UK context, but they still offer valuable ideas on the identification of context free learning and the giving of direct feedback related to that learning. All three books are a valuable resource when students are trying to identify the key technological components within any given activity.

For example, students undertaking Technological Practice may be required to develop a mock-up of a designed potato peeler. Intended learning in a context muddled learning intention might state, "We are learning to mock-up our potato peeler to critique our design ideas."

Clarke suggests that by removing the "potato peeler" from the learning intention (not from the activity), we are left with technological learning.

"We are learning to develop a mock-up to enable us to critique our design ideas", context – Potato Peelers. This clarifies the purpose of the learning in technological knowledge – modelling and better equips students and teachers to assess learning formatively and identify next step learning.

The understandings introduced in these books are supported with the 'Context Free Learning Intentions Activity and the unit planning format situated in this Element, Aspect 1

Keywords: Formative assessment, feedback, learning intentions, context free learning, success criteria

Reviewed by Wendy Fox-Turnbull.

Case Study

Title: Classroom Practice: Teaching Practice


Review Statement: The case studies provide easy access to quality practice in technology education. They enable and encourage teachers to reflect on and evaluate their own practice and support the achievement of high quality outcomes for a greater range of technology students.

Key phrases: quality practice, reflect, evaluate, high quality outcomes


Title: Teaching Snapshots


Review Statement: This section on the Technology Online website provides insights on teacher strategies for delivering a particular aspect of the Technology curriculum, activities which have engaged student interest, resources used in the classroom, interaction with the wider community, and promotion of Technology education/subject areas.

Key phrases: teacher strategies, engaged student interest, resources, interaction with the wider community, promotion of Technology education

Journal Article

Title: The Influences of Teacher Knowledge and Authentic Formative Assessment on Student Learning in Technology Education

Review Statement
This paper can be used with student teachers to help them to understand that their technology content and pedagogical knowledge impacts directly on their students' learning.

The article outlines an investigation of the role of teacher knowledge and authentic formative assessment on student learning in technology education. It also investigates the context of assessment and its relationship to achievement and the importance of teacher knowledge to student Technological Practice.

The author argues that "out of context" assessment tasks do not give an accurate indication of achievement levels of the children assessed. Introduced is the Model of Student Technological Practice, which identifies four constraints that influence student Technological Practice.

A significant factor is teacher knowledge, as it impacts greatly on the quality of feedback given to students by their teachers. Timely teacher intervention and formative assessment feedback will alter student Technological Practice and should improve the students' likelihood of developing successful outcomes.

Fox-Turnbull, W. (2006) The Influences of Teacher Knowledge and Authentic Formative Assessment on Student Learning in Technology Education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 16(1), 53-77. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10798-005-2109-1.

Key Words: technology education, authentic assessment, Technological Practice, student Technological Practice

Reviewed by Wendy Fox-Turnbull.


Title: Assessment

Purpose: To help teachers understand assessment practices that enhances the learning process and outcomes for students.

Working in groups, review the diagrams on the page above and use them to critique a student showcase which includes their workbook.

  • Pick a component of practice and map it against the student's work.
  • Identify levels of performance from the work presented using the progression diagrams.
  • What were the key indicators that told you that this student was working at this level?
  • Consider a where to next to enhance the student's performance and lift their level of achievement.
  • What kind of work could the student present to meet your expectations?
  • How would you feedback to and support a student who was not meeting the level expected?
  • Write a summative parent report comment on this child's achievement within this component.

Written by Wendy Fox-Turnbull and Gary O'Sullivan.

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