JTE v1n2 - From the Editor

Volume 1, Number 2
Spring 1990

From the Editor

Have you noticed that technology education has become a hot topic the
world over? If not, have your senses checked... at least two of them
must be malfunctioning. Everyone seems to agree we ought to be teaching
young people about technology. The questions being asked, though,
are&gml. Who should shoulder this responsibility? And how should they
go about it?

Technology (formerly industrial arts) teachers approach the task with a
century of :q.hands-on:eq. experience under their collective belt. They
boast a rich tradition of motivating young people with hands-on
activities. Working from their :q.project method:eq. heritage,
industrial arts-turned-technology teachers are working on curriculum
:q.upgrades:eq. that are :q.technology:eq. rather than :q.industry:eq.
based. In the process, :hp1.project building:ehp1. activities are being
replaced by :hp1.problem solving:ehp1. activities, which are believed to
be better suited to teaching the technological systems inherent in the
new curriculum.

While I still have a lot to learn about the Science, Technology, and
Society movement, it is obvious they approach technology education from
a substantially different perspective. Traditionally, science is the
study of principles and theorems. Yet, as Roy suggests in his guest
article, this approach to :hp1.abstract:ehp1. science may be appropriate
for only a relatively small subset of the secondary school population.
Infusing :hp1.applied science:ehp1. and technology in the science
curriculum is seen as a way to :q.reach:eq. a larger audience.

Technology education in Great Britain has evolved out of the craft and
design tradition. Accordingly, the British seem to stress the
developmental design process in their study of technology to a greater
extent than do either the STS or the industrial arts/technology
educators in America.

My sense is that each camp has both much to offer and much to learn from
the others. Curriculum development in industrial arts/technology
education, for example, has borrowed problem solving ideas from the
British. At the same time, an increasing number of scientific
principles are being stressed in these curricula. STS, on the other
hand, seems to be advocating more hands-on activities as a means of
making science more applied and less abstract.

You'll see some of that interchange going on in this issue of the JTE.
Roy's guest article provides both a rationale of sorts and a general
structure for STS education. Denton's editorial gives those of us on
this side of the Atlantic a peek at his thoughts on the importance of
teamwork in the technology education classroom. Braukmann and Pedras
offer a straightforward prescription for the problem solving method.
Korwin and Jones, Litowitz, and Scarborough share their research
findings, while Wilkinson gives us a piece of his (Canadian) mind. Or,
there are reviews by McCade and Snyder, if you would rather just settle
down with a good book...

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Journal of Technology Education   Volume 1, Number 2       Spring 1990