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On young people’s experience of systems in technology
Department of Pedagogical, Curricular, and Professional Studies, University of Gothenburg.
Department of Pedagogical, Curricular, and Professional Studies, University of Gothenburg.
Department of Pedagogical, Curricular, and Professional Studies, University of Gothenburg.
2012 (English)In: Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, ISSN 1360-1431, E-ISSN 2040-8633, Vol. 17, no 1, 67-77 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Immersed in a technologically complex world, young people make sense of a multi-faceted set of events in everyday life. Discerning technological systems is potentially useful in this process. This article investigates the variation in how Swedish young people experience technological systems and is based on interviews focusing three systems concerning transport, energy and communication—contextualised in relation to bananas, electricity, and mobile phones. A phenomenographic analysis results in five qualitatively distinct categories, describing different ways of understanding technological systems: Using single components, Using the system output, Influencing the system, Interacting with the system, and Integrating the system. The main contribution of the study is the illumination of how these categories are constituted—primarily in terms of the meaning of the systems the role of humans and how the systems are delimited towards the surroundings. The results support that different ways of understanding technological systems implies different ways of understanding the complex nature of technology. The results also open up possibilities of developing teaching for technological citizenship.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 17, no 1, 67-77 p.
Keyword [en]
Technological system, technology education, phenomenography, technological citizenship
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-63748OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-63748DiVA: diva2:382718
Note

On the day of the defence date the status of this article was Manuscript.

Available from: 2011-01-03 Created: 2011-01-03 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Att urskilja tekniska system: didaktiska dimensioner i grundskolan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att urskilja tekniska system: didaktiska dimensioner i grundskolan
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Syftet med avhandlingen är att bidra till den ämnesdidaktiska kunskapsbasen för undervisning och lärande om tekniska system i grundskolan. Dagens teknikkomplexa samhälle är uppbyggt av system som vi människor interagerar med. Informations-, energi- och kommunikationssystem är exempel på tekniska system som vi kommer i kontakt med dagligen. Tekniska system ingår som en del av kunskapsinnehållet i den svenska grundskolans teknikämne, men forskning som rör teknikämnet visar att undervisning av tekniska system är begränsad och det råder osäkerhet kring vad lärande av tekniska system innebär.

De övergripande frågeställningarna är: Hur uppfattar unga tekniska system? Hur kan ungas uppfattningar av tekniska system användas för att utveckla undervisningen om tekniska system? Vilken potential, att bidra till en ökad förståelse av teknik i dagens samhälle, har tekniska  system som kunskapsinnehåll i teknikämnet?

Avhandlingen bygger på två studier som presenteras i fyra artiklar. I två av artiklarna fokuseras ungas uppfattningar av tekniska system och i två artiklar lyfts didaktiska dimensioner av tekniska system fram. En fenomenografisk ansats används för att kartlägga ungdomars olika sätt att erfara tekniska system genom empiriska undersökningar av kvalitativa skillnader i det kollektiva erfarandet av fenomenet.

Resultatet av studierna indikerar att dimensioner av tekniska system och kritiska aspekter inom dessa dimensioner är avgörande för en utvecklad förståelse av tekniska system. Genom att lärare blir medvetna om ungas uppfattningar om tekniska system kan de med detta som utgångspunkt utveckla undervisningen. Inom den ämnesdidaktiska kunskapstraditionen ses den lärandes uppfattning av innehållet innan undervisningen startar som en betydelsefull aspekt av lärarens ämnesdidaktiska kompetens Det är därför viktigt att lärare är medvetna om dimensionerna och de kritiska aspekterna då de planerar och genomför undervisning för att kunna erbjuda kraftfulla sätt att lära om tekniska system.

De didaktiska implikationerna, när det gäller tekniska system, lyfter fram aspekter av teknik som har betydelse för förståelsen av teknik även på ett mer generellt plan. Det handlar om kunskaper som aktiva medborgare i dagens teknikkomplexa samhälle behöver, så som insikter om krav på resurser, människans intentioner med och inblandning i tekniken samt hur teknikens struktur och organisation ser ut. Tekniska system som kunskapsinnehåll erbjuder en förståelse av teknik där viktiga medborgerliga aspekter som engagemang, konsekvensanalys och användaransvar kan synliggöras och problematiseras.

Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the field of technology education research, specifically that which concerns teaching and learning about technological systems. Today's technologically complex society is made up of a variety of systems that humans interact with. Information, energy and communication are examples of technological systems with which we are involved daily. Education in technology prepares young people for participating as active citizens in a technologyintensive society and therefore includes technological systems as part of the knowledge content in the Swedish compulsory school subject of technology. Research related to the technology subject shows that the teaching of technological systems is limited and there is uncertainty about what the learning entails.

The overall questions which this thesis intends to investigate are: How do young people experience technological systems? How can young people’s experiences of technological systems be used to develop the teaching of technological systems? What potential does knowledge about  technological systems have in contributing to a better understanding of technology in today’s society?

The thesis is based on two studies presented in four articles. Two of the articles focus on young people’s experiences of technological systems and the other two highlight pedagogical dimensions of technological systems for teaching and learning. The studies take the perspective of  the learners’, using a phenomenographic approach, and investigate young people’s ways of experiencing technological systems. To start from the learners’ experience is an important aspect of the tradition of pedagogical research that concerns content specific knowledge. The phenomenographic approach offers empirical ways of investigating qualitative differences in the collective experience of the phenomenon and an opportunity to highlight what teaching should focus on to create learning opportunities.

The main result of the studies consists of knowledge about dimensions of technological systems and critical aspects within those dimensions. Together they offer a perspective for teaching, providing possible starting points for teachers when they plan instruction. If teachers address their own and young people’s awareness of dimensions of variation, it could enable more powerful ways of learning about technological systems. The pedagogical implications in terms of technological systems also point to aspects that are relevant for understanding technology on a more general level, namely skills which active citizens in today’s technologically complex society must possess. Technological systems knowledge offers an understanding of technology in which key aspects of civil commitment, impact and user responsibility can be made visible and thus  problematized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. 74 p.
Series
Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 33
Keyword
Technological systems, pedagogical possibilities, technological literacy, critical aspects, phenomenography, Tekniska system, ämnesdidaktik, teknisk bildning, kritiska aspekter, fenomenografi
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-63750 (URN)978-91-7393-250-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-02-11, Margareta Huitfeldts Auditorium, Pedagogen hus C, Göteborgs universitet, Göteborg, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-01-03 Created: 2011-01-03 Last updated: 2011-01-04Bibliographically approved

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