Philosophical attempts to guide critical interpretations have been supported by focusing on the interrelated dual (physical and functional) nature of technological artifacts (Kroes & Meijers; 2000; de Vries; 2005; Vaesen; 2008). This aspect of the philosophy of technology is the basis of the New Zealand curriculum achievement objectives related to the Nature of Technology strand component known as ’Characteristics of Technological Outcomes’ (Ministry of Education; 2007). In this component significant emphasis is placed on students developing understanding of the interrelated physical and functional nature of technological outcomes (or artifacts) and how these outcomes are understood as embedded in their social and historical context.
Exploration into students’ ability to read technological artifacts has been a part of a number of research projects undertaken in New Zealand over the last eight years. This focus has been continued in our latest researchâ€“ the Technological Literacy: Implications for teaching and learning (TL: Imps) project. In this paper; we share our early findings related to reading technological artifacts and discuss these in terms of previous national and international research findings.
Keywords: Technological Artifacts; Technological Literacy; Physical and Functional Nature; Critical Interpretation