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Technology education, science and science education : exploring the relationship

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conference contribution
posted on 2003-01-01, 00:00 authored by B Jane, Russell TytlerRussell Tytler
In this paper the nature of technology education in relation to science and science education is explored. Ways forward are indicated for both technology and science in the curriculum so that the two areas can be mutually supportive. In the 1990s, when curriculum writers were attempting to provide technology a unique place in the curriculum, they tended to downplay the relationship between technology and science. One reason for this tendency derives from a perception that science is an academic and elitist discipline and technology is well served by emphasizing the distance between the two. The other reason is perhaps political, that science, by virtue of its status in the community, and the status of its special type of knowledge, would be in a position, if allowed, to subsume the new subject. There are philosophical and historical precedents that justify such a concern. In tracing the historical relationships between science and technology, in professional practice, in philosophical positioning, and in school curriculum, we inevitably need to deal with the politics of school subjects.

The position taken in this paper is that science and technology are different, both in their epistemological foundations, and in the nature of the professional communities and the concerns of individual practitioners within the two areas. In clarifying these differences the essential nature of technology and of science are illuminated. The paper also explores ways in which the two areas can benefit from each other’s existence in the curriculum, and ways of approaching teaching that both clarifies the special nature of each type of knowledge, and allows them to be mutually supportive. This may necessitate a reconstruction of the nature of school science.



American-Australian Technology Education Forum (2003 : Gold Coast, Queensland)


97 - 111


Technical Foundation of America and the Griffith University Centre for Technology Education Research


Gold Coast, Queensland

Place of publication

[Gold Coast, Queensland]

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Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

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2003, Technical Foundation of America


G Martin, H Middleton

Title of proceedings

Initiatives in Technology Education: Comparative Perspectives: Proceedings of the American-Australian Technology Education Forum

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