'Standards' on the bench: Do standards for technological literacy render an adequate image of technology?

Journal of Technology and Science Education 6 (1) (2016)
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Abstract

The technological literacy of students has recently become one of the primary goals of education in countries such as the USA, England, New Zealand, Australia, and so forth. However the question here is whether these educations - their long-term policy documents as well as the standards they provide in particular - address sufficient learning about the nature of technology. This seems to be an important concern that through taking advantage of the philosophy of technology (the arena which affords a bountiful ground of various reflections on the nature of technology) is intended to be discussed throughout this study. In the first place, the paper presents a relevant framework based upon Mitcham's (1994) four-aspect account of technology, i.e., technology as objects, knowledge, activities, and volition. Then it categorizes the main relevant concepts and concerns put forward by many other philosophers of technology into this framework; this will yield a concrete model (tool) to analyze any intended standard such as the above mentioned ones. Afterwards, to show how this model works, the well-known case of the USA - Standards for Technological Literacy (ITEA, 2007) - will be used as an example for inspection; the results will disclose the points where the current American case needs to be modified.

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Myrthe De Vries
University of Amsterdam

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