Technology, Culture, and Values: Implications for Enactment of Technological Tools in Precollege Science Classrooms

  • Noemi Waight
  • Fouad Abd-El-Khalick
Part of the Innovations in Science Education and Technology book series (ISET, volume 24)


This chapter explores the culture of technology and the impact of technology on culture and values in the context of precollege science classrooms that implement (or aim to implement) technology-supported inquiry environments. We adopt perspectives of technology that at its core emphasize context and the artifact and its associated activity. These perspectives inform how notions of technology, culture, and values are intertwined in complex interactions of agents (designer, developer, or educational researcher and/or teacher educator, teacher, or student), and context of practice (science classroom), and mediated by associated knowledge and skills. Toward explicating how these interactions are realized in practice, first, we explore conceptualizations of technology that leverage human activity associated with design, development, implementation, use, and sustainability of technological tools. Second, we draw on Pacey’s (The culture of technology. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1983) technology-practice framework to elucidate how cultural, organizational, and technical aspects of technology must be part and parcel of any analysis of the culture of technology implementation in precollege science classrooms. Third, we explicate how understandings of the nature of technology (NoT) undergird the role of context and associated culture and values of science teaching and learning. Dimensions of NoT (notions of technological progression, technology as part of systems, technological diffusion, technology as a fix and expertise) highlight how culture and values are influenced by various factors at different stages of technology adoption and implementation. Fourth, we examine empirical investigations of the enactment of technology-supported inquiry environments to identify (a) conceptualizations of technology, (b) how dimensions of NoT are manifested, and (c) how the presence or absence of these dimensions reflect key aspects of culture and values within science classrooms. We conclude that understandings of culture and values have implications for (a) conceptualizing technological tools in the context of precollege science classrooms, (b) transference of technologies across contexts (including requisite transference of habits of mind, practices, and expertise), and (c) implementing, enacting, and reappropriating technologies in science classrooms.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationUniversity at Buffalo, SUNYBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.School of EducationThe University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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