Issues of learning and knowledge in technology education

McCormick, Robert (2004). Issues of learning and knowledge in technology education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 14(1) pp. 21–44.



This article examines issues that arise from learning and knowledge in technology education. The issues examined are, first, the definition of technological knowledge and what the nature of that knowledge should be, where the concern is with how we define and think about that knowledge, especially in the context of how students learn and use knowledge in technology education. Second, the relationship between learning and knowledge in particular the inter-relationship between learning and knowledge, focusing on a situated view of learning. The third issue sees learning related to the context within which the learning takes place.
This paper will explore these three inter-related issues in four sections. First, an outline of a view of learning that privileges context. Second, there will be a consideration of types of knowledge, namely, procedural and conceptual knowledge. These two types will be elaborated upon through research done at the Open University, particularly on problem solving and design. In discussing conceptual knowledge empirical work in mathematics and science education will be drawn on, along with work on the use of mathematics and science in technology education. Third, it will be argued that qualitative knowledge should become a part of teaching and learning in technology education because it both reflects a view of knowledge stemming from situated learning, and the tasks of technology. The article will end with a research agenda for what we have yet to understand, drawing on the earlier arguments.

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