Preservice Primary Teachers' Thinking About Technology and Technology Education

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Abstract

It is apparent from previous research that primary school teachers have very limited or narrow perceptions of design and technology and such views may affect adversely their ability and confidence to teach the key learning area of design and technology in the classroom. Therefore, it is the task of technology teacher educators to provide experiences that will broaden preservice teachers' perceptions of technology and technology education. This paper reports an investigation, using an interpretive research methodology, of preservice primary teachers' prior perceptions of design and technology and changes in their perceptions of design and technology as a result of their engagement in independent technology projects. Students enrolled in a one-year postgraduate teacher education program were the participants in the study and the methods of data collection included the use of survey instruments, interviews, field notes and students' reflective journals. The results indicate that the independent projects broadened and deepened the students' understandings of technology as a process. The implications of the approach for the design of technology education courses for preservice and inservice teachers are discussed.