Technology and Technology Education: Views of Some Solomon Island Primary Teachers and Curriculum Development Officers

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Abstract

The implementation of technology as a formal subject – either separate or integrated – in school curricula is a relatively recent phenomenon with most studies confined to Western or developed countries and little known about non-Western contexts. In this study we sought to gain an understanding of primary teachers' and curriculum development officers' perceptions of technology and technology education for a small island nation in the South Pacific. Participants' views were ascertained by means of semi-structured interviews including the use of picture card prompts used by Rennie and Jarvis (1995). The study reveals that the participants hold a rather limited view of technology and technology education. The participants see technology as consisting of a variety of artifacts and skills (including in some cases indigenous artifacts and cultural practices), but the predominant view was technology consists of modern, new, foreign, artifacts especially those associated with information and communication technologies. The participants view technology education as learning about how to use technological artifacts. Personal experiences including pre- and in-service teacher training and encounters with technological artifacts were the main influences on their views of technology and technology education. These findings suggest that primary science teachers will need pre-service training in order to implement a curriculum that provides a comprehensive understanding of technology.