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  • 1.
    Axell, Cecilia
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Division of Learning, Aesthetics, Natural Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Broadening the Horizons of Technology Education: Using Traditional Cultural Artefacts as Learning Tools in a Swedish Sámi School2020In: Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, ISSN 1360-1431, E-ISSN 2040-8633, Vol. 25, no 2, p. 192-216Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this case study was to explore the nature of technology education in a Sámi school setting and to examine how knowledge about traditional cultural artefacts can contribute to broadening the horizons of technological literacy. The participants (teacher and pupils) in the study were all from the same Sámi primary school in Northern Sweden, and the activities connected to the artefacts took place with year 2 and 3 pupils. The method employed was participatory observation, and field notes, recorded conversations, photographs and children’s drawings were analysed using a qualitative content analysis.

    The findings show that technology education in this school was connected to specific artefacts that are important in Sámi culture. Using these traditional cultural artefacts as a starting point, the pupils were given the opportunity to see that technology is more than modern high-tech; it is an age-old tradition of problem-solving, modification and adaptation to fulfil human needs. Technology education in this school was grounded in a holistic view of knowledge and was largely integrated with other school subjects. Myths and storytelling were frequently used to contextualise the technological content, and the historical aspect of technology was clear since connections between older and newer technological solutions were frequently made. The knowledge system embedded in the technology teaching can be described as collective and related to both artefacts and activities. Technological knowledge, activities and specific artefacts were not only attributed a practical value, they were also given a symbolic value, since a common knowledge base in technology contributes to strengthening the children’s cultural identity.

    This study confirms that artefacts can play an important role in technology education and that an understanding of the relationship between technology and culture can be regarded as a critical part of technological literacy. A cultural context, in combination with a holistic perspective on learning, gives artefacts meaning and provides a context within which they are used. Including indigenous technological knowledge can thus not only prevent a marginalisation of indigenous knowledge, it can also provide opportunities to broaden pupils’ perspectives of what technology is, how it evolves, and the driving forces behind technological change

  • 2.
    Citrohn, Björn
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Division of Learning, Aesthetics, Natural Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    A framework for analyzing technological knowledge in school design projects including models2023In: Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, ISSN 1360-1431, E-ISSN 2040-8633, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 154-169Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates, and further develops, a framework for analyzing technological knowledge emanating from school design projects; a framework that has the potential to be used as a tool for teachers when choosing and planning design projects. The study also intends to answer the research question: What technological knowledge, associated to physical models, emanates from design projects common in Swedish secondary schools. To answer the research question, the framework is used to analyze three design projects common in Swedish secondary schools. The design projects were video-recorded during actual classroom work by using a self-following robot camera. The projects involved three teachers and 70 students in grades 7, 8 and 9. Deductive content analysis of the video-recordings revealed that technological knowledge from four categories–Technical skills, Technological scientific knowledge, Socio-ethical technical understanding and Engineering capabilities–within the framework emanated from the three projects. A new category of technological knowledge was also found, namely Technological research capabilities. This fifth category is related to the capability to search for, and interpret, information about solutions when doing a design. An implication of the conducted study is that design projects are important to enable development of technological knowledge in the school subject technology. However, considering the amount of time a design project requires, there is only room for a few projects in secondary school. Therefore, technology teachers have to carefully choose and combine projects to educate technological literate citizens as well as prepare students for studies and future careers within engineering and technology.

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  • 3.
    Citrohn, Björn
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Sweden .
    Stolpe, Karin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Division of Learning, Aesthetics, Natural Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Svensson, Maria
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden .
    Bernhard, Jonte
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Division of Learning, Aesthetics, Natural Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Affordances of models and modelling: a study of four technology design projects in the Swedish secondary school2022In: Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, ISSN 1360-1431, E-ISSN 2040-8633, Vol. 27, no 3, p. 58-75Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study aims to investigate affordances of models and modelling in design projects in technology education. To learn more about affordances when working with models and modelling, four Swedish technology teachers were interviewed using a narrative approach. Despite a small number of informants data were rich, containing detailed descriptions of sequences where students used models and modelling in ways not planned by the teachers. By using a qualitative, generic inductive approach, the narrative interviews revealed seven different affordances of models and modelling in the projects: Seeing different solutions; Finding possibilities and limitations in solutions; Representing an idea, structure or function; Communicating solutions with drawings; Making problems and solutions visible; Trial and error and learning from mistakes and finally Taking inspirations from each other’s solutions. Some conclusions and implications of the study are that when the students can see and use a wide variety of materials when modelling, they are more creative in finding solutions to design problems. The use of conceptual design in schools, leading to students performing trial and error using models to solve problems, might also be connected to the importance of a variety of materials. In the study, teachers describe how their students used models, trying different solutions, representing ideas, and trying, failing and trying again. All these modelling activities are important parts of a design process and might prove that the doing itself is a process of reflection.

  • 4.
    Hallström, Jonas
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Division of Learning, Aesthetics, Natural Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Book Review. The Impact of Technology Education: International Insights2021In: Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, ISSN 1360-1431, E-ISSN 2040-8633, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 101-106Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Schooner, Patrick
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Nordlöf, Charlotta
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Klasander, Claes
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Hallström, Jonas
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Design, system, value: The role of problem-solving and critical thinking capabilities in technology education, as perceived by teachers2017In: Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, ISSN 1360-1431, E-ISSN 2040-8633, Vol. 22, no 3, p. 60-75Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2013) defines its views on necessary skills for 21st century citizenship and life-long learning, advocating a generic skill set of literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving in technology-rich environments. Other sources also include critical thinking as a vital 21st century skill. There are also those who question the concept of 21st century skills, claiming that, although very important, these skills are in fact old and have been around for decades, or even centuries. Therefore, in many countries, skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving are already addressed in technology education as part of the core subject matter, especially regarding competencies connected to technological literacy. Critical thinking and particularly problem-solving have been well researched in technology education, but seldom from the teacher’s point of view. 

    The aim of this article is to investigate Swedish compulsory school technology teachers’ views on problem-solving and critical thinking as curriculum components and as skills addressed in teaching. Twenty-one teachers were subjected to in-depth qualitative interviews. The findings of the study show that the interviewed teachers can be said to express three approaches to teaching about technology in a critical thinking and problem-solving mode: (1) the design approach, (2) the system approach, and (3) the value approach. Even though the present Swedish technology curriculum does not explicitly mention these skills, the teachers say they incorporate critical thinking and problem-solving in different settings within the subject of technology. Problem-solving and critical thinking are not seen as generic capabilities but they are always connected to and integrated with subject content in technology by the teachers. The teachers mix the approaches depending on the teaching content, especially when teaching about complex technology, although there is a tendency to disregard critical thinking capabilities when dealing with design, and neglect problem-solving skills when addressing values.

  • 6.
    Sultan, Ulrika
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Axell, Cecilia
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Hallström, Jonas
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Girls’ engagement with technology education: A scoping review of the literature2019In: Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, ISSN 1360-1431, E-ISSN 2040-8633, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 20-41Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to review internationally published scientific literature on the subject of girls’ engagement in technology education, in order to identify the most common descriptions of girls’ engagement with technology education, girls’ technological activities, and the relationship between girls and technology. After a scoping review of the literature, 20 relevant articles were identified and included in the study; they were analysed using content analysis. The results show that, according to the reviewed studies, girls are less interested in and have less positive attitudes towards technology (education) than boys. They are also less likely to choose a technology- or STEM-oriented occupa-tion. Several of the included studies venture possible explanations as to why this is and refer mainly to cultural factors. Those studies that do define the type of technology used in girls’ activities mostly describe a neutral, or male kind of “nuts and bolts” technology. As regards girls’ relationship to tech-nology, there is potential for improving female engagement using apparently simple means; for ex-ample, making sure the social context of teaching is adapted to girls. The results of the literature review are discussed in terms of their implications for future research and can be used as a guide for educators and researchers in the area. In particular, the reasons for girls’ lower interest in technolo-gy education compared to boys need to be further researched, and it may be that researchers need to study girls in their own right, not in perpetual comparison with boys, in order to come closer to an answer

  • 7.
    Sultan, Ulrika
    et al.
    Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Axell, Cecilia
    Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Hallström, Jonas
    Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Technical or not? Investigating the self-image of girls aged 9 to 12 when participating in primary technology education2020In: Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, ISSN 1360-1431, E-ISSN 2040-8633, Vol. 25, no 2, p. 175-191Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Variance in interest and engagement by gender is a complex and long-standing research agenda in the field of technology education. Studies report that girls are more reluctant to participate in technology education, less interested in the subject and more negative towards technology than boys. It is argued that specific attitudes and roles hinder girls from engaging in technology education because technology is presented as a predominantly male domain, which fuels ideas about what technological agency is as well as whose interest in technology and what kind of technology are regarded as legitimate. There is, however, the potential to improve female engagement if we can gain knowledge about what girls do during lessons and how they think about themselves when learning technology. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine the self-image of girls aged 9 to 12 when participating in primary technology education, by using Harding’s (1986) three gender levels: the symbolic, the structural and the individual. The methods used for this study were participant observations during technology classes followed by a focus group interview. From the perspective of Harding’s three levels of gender, the analysis of the observations and the focus group interview reveals that girls confirm the prevailing male norms and conceptions that are linked to what technology is and what it means “to be technical”, despite the fact that the teacher introduces gender-neutral activities. However, there is an ambiguity in our findings because the girls also resist the self-image of not being technical, especially when they work together and have ownership of their work with and learning about technology.

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  • 8.
    Svensson, Maria
    et al.
    Department of Pedagogical, Curricular, and Professional Studies, University of Gothenburg.
    Zetterqvist, Ann
    Department of Pedagogical, Curricular, and Professional Studies, University of Gothenburg.
    Ingerman, Åke
    Department of Pedagogical, Curricular, and Professional Studies, University of Gothenburg.
    On young people’s experience of systems in technology2012In: Design and Technology Education: An International Journal, ISSN 1360-1431, E-ISSN 2040-8633, Vol. 17, no 1, p. 67-77Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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