Original Research

A theoretical reflection on the implications of the philosophy of technology for criteria for subject-curriculum development and evaluation

Piet Ankiewicz
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 34, No 1 | a1170 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v34i1.1170 | © 2015 Piet Ankiewicz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 April 2014 | Published: 04 February 2015


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Abstract

Technology education is globally still relatively new, and it lacks a substantive research base, a well-established classroom pedagogy and a scientifically founded, subject-based philosophical framework that may serve as a directive for related aspects. Technology is also a developing school subject with no equivalent academic discipline upon which curriculum development and classroom pedagogy may rely. The Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) for Technology in the Senior Phase was officially implemented in 2014. However, responses to the intended or specified curriculum, either positive or negative, are often elicited from various stakeholders and interest groups. In the absence of philosophical-founded criteria for the development and evaluation of an intended technology curriculum, it is often unclear whether such responses are justified. Subsequently it is impossible to make fair judgments about such subject curricula. Based on Mitcham’s framework, the literature reports on a philosophical framework that is directive for technology classroom pedagogy, technology teacher education and Science, Technology and Society Studies (STS). The purpose of the article is to investigate how a scientifically founded, philosophical framework of technology can be directive for the development and evaluation of the intended technology curricula. The following research question served as point of departure for the theoretical reflection: Based on the four modes of the manifestation of technology – namely as object, knowledge, activity, and volition – which scientifically founded criteria can be deduced to be applied as part of the development and evaluation of intended technology curricula? In answering the research question it is important to point out that curriculum developers and evaluators should ensure that they take note of the philosophical framework for technology which guides subject-curriculum development and evaluation. A fourfold set of applicable criteria, based on the four manifestations of technology, have been deduced accordingly.

Keywords

Technology education, philosophical framework, curriculum development, curriculum evaluation

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Crossref Citations

1. An exploratory evaluation of a South African project-based curriculum module focused on authentic technological practice utilizing student portfolios and an open-ended questionnaire
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