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

Technology Unit Planning: Introduction


Units provided by teachers as acknowledged. Support material written by Ange Compton, Dr Vicki Compton and Cliff Harwood under contract to the Ministry of Education to support Technology in The New Zealand Curriculum.

Any school curriculum is developed from the overarching framework provided by The New Zealand Curriculum (2007) (NZC) and the opportunities and requirements of the specific school's setting. The school curriculum in Technology is commonly called the Technology programme and should capture a coherent series of units rather than a collection of 'one-off' stand alone units of work. In this way the programme provides students with the opportunity to progress their learning in Technology over time and therefore enhance their overall technological literacy.

A unit of work in Technology is therefore a key part of any Technology programme. While part of a bigger whole, it also should have an internal integrity. That is, it provides context relevant learning opportunities for students supported by connected and focussed learning experiences. The overall goal of any unit in Technology is to ensure all students progress their understanding of and/or competency in the components of Technology as identified in the 2007 Technology curriculum. However, this can only be achieved through the selection and development of appropriate contexts which provide opportunity to develop specific knowledge and skills which will serve as the basis from which students can build the generic understandings and/or competencies captured in these components.

The purpose of this package is to provide teachers with guidance that assists them in developing units of work in Technology in keeping with the framework provided in the NZC. This version of the package is developed to support teachers during the transition period of 2008-2009 during which time they have been asked by the Ministry of Education to focus on full implementation of the Technological Practice strand only. Suggestions for the exploration of the two additional strands, Technological Knowledge and Nature of Technology are also provided. A revised version of this package will be published in 2010 to support teachers as they plan to implement all three strands in their Technology programmes to enhance students' technological literacy.

Unit Examples

Guidance provided in this package is illustrated with Technology units that have been successfully taught in New Zealand classrooms during 2007 and/or 2008. These units are as follows:

  • Celebrating Matariki : Year 1 unit developed by Lou Reed from Otangarei Primary School in Whangarei
  • Market Day : Year 7-8 unit developed by Selena Hinchco, Facilitator, Resource Development and Facilitation Year 7-10 Technology Project, and Paul Neveldsen, University of Auckland
  • Toys and Games: Year 5-6 unit developed by Tash Martin (reliever) from Te Kowhai School in Hamilton
  • Road Safety : Year 5-6 unit
  • Personalised Pens: Year 7 unit developed by Doug Sutherland from Havelock North Intermediate School in Havelock North
  • Cell-phone / iPod Holder: Year 8 unit developed by Doug Sutherland from Havelock North Intermediate School in Havelock North
  • Sunsafe: Year 8 unit developed by Sally Withers from Marlborough Technology Centre in Blenheim
  • Is Bling still in?: Year 10 unit developed by Keith Cave from Tauraroa Area School in Whangarei

All teachers have generously provided documentation of aspects of their unit planning and reflection to support this package. They show a range of different unit planning formats and differ in terms of detail as reflective of individual teacher and/or school practice. In some cases examples of student work are also included in the documentation.

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