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Design and Technology Education and Its Curriculum Policy Challenges

Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

This chapter takes a global perspective on the kinds of issues faced by Design and Technology (D&T) curriculum policy-makers. In doing so, it recognizes both the phenomenon of our intimate human-technology relationship and what is seen as a huge educational irony, namely, that despite the ubiquitous and pervasive nature of technologies in our lives, education systems rarely offer curricula that can engage the phenomenon. This curriculum conundrum is explored using Nel Noddings’ notion of “aims-talk” and William Pinar’s recognition of curriculum as “complicated conversation.” Rather than D&T perpetually reinforcing stereotypical orthodoxies of what technology is or should be in the public eye or pursuing a limited and instrumentalist skilling agenda for students, an aims-led conversation is advocated that engages matters of humanity, politics, ethics, democracy, sustainability, and, indeed, existence.

Much of D&T education is (being) tied to the service of a particular economic model and ignores multiple alternative educational possibilities. Such possibilities are seen here as presenting D&T not as “subject” or being governed by prescribed content but, rather, as a special way of knowing and being – drawing on multiple epistemologies and ontologies. The resultant case is one for a holistic, comprehensive formulation of a critical technological literacy that permeates whole-school curricula and learning. Good D&T curriculum design is core to developing students as global citizens capable of participation in democratic considerations with technological developments. Moreover, good D&T curriculum design is seen as valid and valued contributor to a global common good.

Keywords

Design and Technology curriculum Epistemology Ontology Critique Ideology Politics 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Goldsmiths, University of LondonLondonUK

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