Advertisement

Technology Landscapes in Children’s Literature

  • Cecilia AxellEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Contemporary Issues in Technology Education book series (CITE)

Abstract

This chapter is about technology and children’s literature. The aim of this study was to take a journey through the technology landscapes of a selection of Swedish children’s literature, written during the last century (Axell, C. Technology landscapes in children’s literature. A didactic journey from Nils Holgersson to Pettson and Findus. Dissertation. Linköping University, Linköping, 2015). The empirical material was based on catalogues used by school libraries to order new books, and some of the chosen books are still frequently borrowed from Swedish libraries. The selection was justified by the fact that they not only contain depictions of technology but also depict issues and problems considered relevant today in the field of technology education. Examples of these issues include reflections about the nature of technology, discussions about its advantages and disadvantages or the way technology is described in a social and historical context. The analysis of the stories showed that they not only contained depictions of technology but also depicted issues and problems relevant in the field of technology education. The ambivalent messages in the books revealed the multifaceted nature of technology as well as its complexity in ways that textbooks seldom do. A conclusion from the analysis was that children’s fiction could be a starting point for creative discussions about the nature of technology and technology’s effects on individuals, society and nature in the past, present and future.

Keywords

Technology education Children’s literature Views of technology Views of nature Views of the future 

The Analysed Children’s Books

  1. Beskow, E. (1915/1954). Sagobok [Storybook]. (5th ed.) Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand.Google Scholar
  2. Beskow, E. (1919/1996). Muntergök: Sagobok [Jollier: A storybook]. (New ed.). Stockholm: Bonnier Carlsen.Google Scholar
  3. Beskow, E. (1952). Röda bussen och gröna bilen: Bilderbok till Johan från farmor [The red bus and the green car]. Stockholm: Bonnier.Google Scholar
  4. Lagerlöf, S. (1906/1908). Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige. Bd 1–2 [The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, Part 1–2]. Stockholm: Bonnier.Google Scholar
  5. Nordqvist, S. (1986). Rävjakten [The fox hunt]. Bromma: Opal.Google Scholar
  6. Nordqvist, S. (1990). Kackel i grönsakslandet [Rumpus in the garden]. Bromma: Opal.Google Scholar
  7. Nordqvist, S. (1992). Pettson tältar [Pettson goes camping]. Bromma: Opal.Google Scholar
  8. Nordqvist, S. (1994). Tomtemaskinen [The Santa Claus machine] Stockholm: Opal.Google Scholar
  9. Nordqvist, S. (2012). Findus flyttar ut [Findus moves out]. Stockholm: Opal.Google Scholar
  10. Schwartzkopf, K-A. (1949/1966). Familjen Tuff-Tuff [The Choo-Choo Family]. (3rd ed.). Stockholm: Geber.Google Scholar
  11. Schwartzkopf, K-A. (1950/1966). Hemma hos familjen Tuff-Tuff [At home with the Family Choo-Choo] (2nd ed.). Stockholm: Geber.Google Scholar
  12. Witt, O. (1914). Tekniska sagor för stora och små [Technical stories for young and old]. Stockholm: Hökerberg,Google Scholar
  13. Witt, O. (1915). Krigets tekniska sagor för stora och små [Technical stories of the War for young and old]. Stockholm: Hökerberg.Google Scholar

References

  1. Acharya, S., & Sirinterlikci, A. (2010). Introducing engineering design through an intelligent Rube Goldberg implementation. Journal of Technology Studies, 36(2), 63–72.Google Scholar
  2. Applebaum, N. (2006). The myth of the innocent child: Interplay between nature, humanity and technology in contemporary children’s science fiction. The Journal of Children’s Literature Studies, 3(2), 1–17.Google Scholar
  3. Applebaum, N. (2010). Representations of technology in science fiction for young people. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Axell, C. (2015). Technology landscapes in children’s literature. A didactic journey from Nils Holgersson to Pettson and Findus. Dissertation. Linköping: Linköping University.Google Scholar
  5. Axell, C. (2017a). Critiquing literature: Children’s literature as a learning tool for critical awareness. In P. J. Williams & K. Stables (Eds.), Critique in Design and Technology Education (pp. 237–254). (Contemporary Issues in Technology Education). Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  6. Axell, C. (2017b). Technology and children’s literature. In M. de Vries (Ed.), Handbook of technology education (pp. 1–17). Cham: Springer International Publishing.Google Scholar
  7. Axell, C., & Boström, J. (2015, April 6). Facts for youngsters – Contextualised technology or fragmented artefacts? A study on portrayals of technology in picture books from a gender perspective. In M. Chatoney (Ed.), PATT 29 plurality and complementarity of approaches in design and technology education (pp. 42–48). Marseille: Aix Marseille University.Google Scholar
  8. Axell, C., Hallström, J., & Hagberg, J.-E. (2014). Images of technology and sustainable development in Swedish children’s literature. Australasian Journal of Technology Education, 1(1), 1–9.Google Scholar
  9. Berner, B. (1999). Perpetuum mobile? Teknikens utmaningar och historiens gång. Lund: Arkiv.Google Scholar
  10. Berner, B. (2009). Teknikens kön. In P. Gyberg & J. Hallström (Eds.), Världens gång – teknikens utveckling: Om samspelet mellan teknik, människa och samhälle (pp. 279–293). Lund: Studentlitteratur.Google Scholar
  11. Bjurulf, V. (2011). Teknikdidaktik. Stockholm: Norstedt.Google Scholar
  12. Cockburn, C. (2009). On the machinery of dominance: Women, men, and technical know-how. Women’s Studies Quarterly, 37(1/2), 269–273.Google Scholar
  13. Crisp, T., & Hiller, B. (2011). Is this a boy or a girl?’: Rethinking sex-role representation in Caldecott Medal-Winning Picture books, 1938–2011. Children’s Literature in Education, 42(3), 196–212.Google Scholar
  14. Dakers, J. R. (2006). Towards a philosophy for technology education. In J. R. Dakers (Ed.), Defining technological literacy: Towards an epistemological framework (pp. 145–158). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  15. Dakers, J. R. (2011). The rise of technological literacy in primary education. In C. Benson & J. Lunt (Eds.), International handbook of primary technology education: Reviewing the past twenty years (pp. 181–193). Rotterdam: Sense.Google Scholar
  16. Dennett, D. C. (1990). The interpretation of texts, people and other artifacts. Philosophy and phenomenological research, 50(Supplement), 177–194.Google Scholar
  17. Dobson, A. (2000). Green political thought (3rd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Edgerton, D. (2006). The shock of the old: Technology and global history since 1900. London: Profile Books.Google Scholar
  19. Ellul, J. (1964). The technological society. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  20. Foster, P. N. (2009). An analysis of children’s literature featured in the “Books to Briefs” column of technology and children, 1998–2008. Journal of Technology Education, 21(1), 25–43.Google Scholar
  21. Frängsmyr, T. (1990). Framsteg eller förfall: Framtidsbilder och utopier i västerländsk tanketradition. Stockholm: Allmänna Förlaget.Google Scholar
  22. Gooden, A. M., & Gooden, M. A. (2001). Gender representation in notable children’s picture books: 1995–1999. Sex Roles, 45(1–2), 89–101.Google Scholar
  23. Greenberg, M. L., & Schachterle, L. (1992). Introduction: Literature and technology. In M. L. Greenberg & L. Schachterle (Eds.), Literature and technology (pp. 13–24). Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Hagberg, J.-E. (2009). Att lära i teknikens rum och landskap. En metadidaktisk betraktelse. In P. Gyberg & J. Hallström (Eds.), Världens gång – teknikens utveckling: Om samspelet mellan teknik, människa och samhälle (pp. 41–60). Lund: Studentlitteratur.Google Scholar
  25. Hallström, J. (2013). Teknikhistoria öppnar upp vidare perspektiv på tekniken. In J. Hallström & C. Klasander (Eds.), Ginners teknikdidaktiska handbok: Några teser om teknik, skola och samhälle (pp. 61–72). Linköping: Linköping University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hallström, J., & Gyberg, P. (2011). Technology in the rear-view mirror: How to better incorporate the history of technology into technology education. International Journal of Design and Technology Education, 21(1), 3–17.Google Scholar
  27. Hamilton, M. C., Anderson, D., Broaddus, M., & Young, K. (2006). Gender stereotyping and under-representation of female characters in 200 popular children’s picture books: A twenty-first century update. Sex Roles, 55(11–12), 757–765.Google Scholar
  28. Haraway, D. J. (1991). Simians, cyborgs and women: The reinvention of nature. London: Free Associations Books.Google Scholar
  29. Hintz, E. S. (2008). Heroes of the laboratory and the workshop: Inventions and technology in books for children, 1850–1950. In M. M. Elbert (Ed.), Enterprising youth: Social values and acculturation in nineteenth-century American children’s literature (pp. 197–211). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Hughes, T. P. (1987). The evolution of large technological systems. In W. E. Bijker, T. P. Hughes, & T. J. Pinch (Eds.), The social construction of technological systems: New directions in the sociology and history of technology (pp. 51–82). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  31. Ihde, D. (2006). The designer fallacy and technological imagination. In J. R. Dakers (Ed.), Defining technological literacy: Towards an epistemological framework (pp. 55–59). NewYork: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  32. Keirl, S. (2006). Ethical technological literacy as democratic curriculum keystone. In J. R. Dakers (Ed.), Defining technological literacy: Towards an epistemological framework (pp. 81–102). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  33. Keirl, S. (2017). Critiquing as design and technology curriculum journey: History, theory, politics and potential. In P. J. Williams & K. Stables (Eds.), Critique in design and technology education (pp. 109–133). (Contemporary Issues in Technology Education). Singapore: Springer Nature.Google Scholar
  34. Kelly, K. (2010). What technology wants. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  35. Lee, J. Y. (1992). The feminization of technology: Mechanical characters in picture books. In M. L. Greenberg & L. Schachterle (Eds.), Literature and technology (pp. 206–224). Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Lévi-Strauss, C. (1966/1973). The savage mind. London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  37. Martin, S. N., & Siry, C. A. (2009). Raising critical issues in the analysis of gender and science in children’s literature. Culture Studies of Science Education, 4(4), 951–960.Google Scholar
  38. Mawson, B. (2010). Children’s developing understanding of technology. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 20(1), 1–13.Google Scholar
  39. McCannon, J. (2001). Technological and scientific utopias in Soviet children’s literature, 1921–1932. Journal of Popular Culture, 34(4), 153–169.Google Scholar
  40. McLaren, S. V. (2017). Critiquing teaching: Developing critique through critical reflections and reflexive practice. In J. P. Williams & K. Stables (Eds.), Critique in design and technology education (pp. 173–192). (Contemporary Issues in Technology Education). Singapore: Springer.Google Scholar
  41. McLean, K., Jones, M., & Schaper, C. (2015). Children’s literature as an invitation to science inquiry in early childhood education. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 40(4), 49–56.Google Scholar
  42. Mellström, U. (2009). Män i teknikens värld. In P. Gyberg & J. Hallström (Eds.), Världens gång – teknikens utveckling: Om samspelet mellan teknik, människa och samhälle (pp. 295–310). Lund: Studentlitteratur.Google Scholar
  43. Mitcham, C. (1994). Thinking through technology: The path between engineering and philosophy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  44. Monhardt, L., & Monhardt, R. (2006). Creating a context for the learning of science process skills through picture books. Early Childhood Education Journal, 34(1), 67–71.Google Scholar
  45. Mumford, L. (1934/1963). Technics and civilization, 1. (Harbinger books ed.). New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.Google Scholar
  46. Mumford, L. (1964). Authoritarian and democratic technics. Technology and Culture, 5(1), 1–8.Google Scholar
  47. Mumford, L. (1967). The myth of the machine. In Technics and human development (Vol. 1). New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  48. Ödman, P.-J. (2004). Hermeneutik och forskningspraktik. In B. Gustavsson (Ed.), Kunskapande metoder inom samhällsvetenskapen (pp. 71–93). Lund: Studentlitteratur.Google Scholar
  49. Oldenziel, R. (1999). Making technology masculine: Men, women, and modern machines in America, 1870–1945. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Oskamp, S., Kaufman, K., & Wolterbeek, L. A. (1996). Gender role portrayals in preschool picture books. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 11(5), 27–39.Google Scholar
  51. Paynter, K. C. (2011). Gender stereotypes and representation of female characters in children’s picture books. Published dissertation. Liberty University.Google Scholar
  52. Petrina, S. (2000). The politics of technological literacy. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 10(2), 181–206.Google Scholar
  53. Reynolds, K. (2007). Radical children’s literature: Future visions and aesthetic transformations in juvenile fiction. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  54. Reynolds, K. (2011). Introduction. In K. Reynolds & M. O. Grenby (Eds.), Children’s literature studies: A research handbook (pp. 1–10). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  55. Ricœur, P. (1981/2016). Hermeneutics and the human sciences: essays on language, action, and interpretation, Cambridge philosophy classics edition. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Rohaan, E., Taconis, R., & Jochems, W. (2010). Reviewing the relations between teachers’ knowledge and pupils’ attitude in the field of primary technology education. International Journal of Technology & Design Education, 20(1), 15–26.Google Scholar
  57. Sackes, M., Trundle, K. C., & Flevares, L. M. (2009). Using children’s literature to teach standard-based science concepts in early years. Early Childhood Education Journal, 36(5), 415–422.Google Scholar
  58. Schwarcz, H. J. (1967). Machine animism in modern children’s literature. The Library Quarterly, 37(1), 78–95.Google Scholar
  59. Shelley, M. W. (1818/1993). Frankenstein, or, the modern Prometheus. Ware: Wordsworth.Google Scholar
  60. Siu, K. W. M., & Lam, M. S. (2005). Early childhood technology education: A sociocultural perspective. Early Childhood Education Journal, 32(6), 353–358.Google Scholar
  61. Sörlin, S. (1991). Naturkontraktet: Om naturumgängets idéhistoria. Stockholm: Carlsson.Google Scholar
  62. Swedish National Agency for Education (2018). Curriculum for the compulsory school system, the pre-school class and the leisure-time centre 2011. Revised 2018. Stockholm: Skolverket.Google Scholar
  63. Swedish Schools Inspectorate Report (2014:04). Teknik – gör det osynliga synligt. Om kvaliteten i grundskolans teknikundervisning, 2014. http://www.skolinspektionen.se/Documents/Kvalitetsgranskning/teknik/kvalgr-teknik-slutrapport.pdf
  64. Trepanier-Street, M. L., & Romatowski, J. A. (1999). The influence of children’s literature on gender role perceptions: A reexamination. Early Childhood Education Journal, 26(3), 155–159.Google Scholar
  65. Trundle, K. C., & Troland, T. H. (2005). The moon in children’s literature. Science and Children, 43(2), 40–43.Google Scholar
  66. Turja, L., Endepohls-Ulpe, M., & Chatoney, M. (2009). A conceptual framework for developing the curriculum and delivery of technology education in early childhood. International Journal of Design and Technology Education, 19(4), 353–336.Google Scholar
  67. Vries, d. M. (2005). Teaching about technology: an introduction to the philosophy of technology for non-philosophers. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  68. Vries, d. M. (2006). Technological knowledge and artifacts: An analytical view. In J. R. Dakers (Ed.), Defining technological literacy: Towards an epistemological framework (pp. 17–30). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  69. Waytz, A. (2013). Making meaning by seeing human. In K. D. Markman, T. Proulx, & M. Lindberg (Eds.), The psychology of meaning. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  70. Waytz, A. (2014). The mind in the machine: anthropomorphism increases trust in an autonomous vehicle. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 52(3), 113–117.Google Scholar
  71. Wiener, N. (1965). Cybernetics or control and communication in the animal and the machine. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.Google Scholar
  72. Williams, J. P. (2009). Technological literacy: A multliteracies approach for democracy. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 19(3), 237–254.Google Scholar
  73. Winner, L. (1977). Autonomous technology: technics-out-of-control as a theme in political thought. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  74. Winner, L. (1986). The whale and the reactor: A search of limits in an age of high technology. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  75. Zipes, J. D. (1983). Fairy tales and the art of subversion: The classical genre for children and the process of civilization. London: Heinemann.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social and Welfare StudiesLinköping UniversityNorrköpingSweden

Personalised recommendations