The position is developed that; when Technology Education is viewed from a range of perspectives; controversy is an ever-present phenomenon. The spirit of the paper sees this phenomenon as an asset to the field and to society in general and; as such; it is something to be celebrated.
The paper discusses the role of controversy in democratic and educational life using the notion of democracy-as-controversy. In turn; technologies are framed as sites of controversy and the concept of technologies as ’controversial propositions ’ is offered.
The paper illustrates the range of sites of controversy present in Technology Education itself; including: competing stakeholder claims; curricular and epistemological contestations; professional values differences; and pedagogical genres.
In ’celebrating controversy ’; it is argued that; despite systemic and governmental pressures toward conformity; controversy as core phenomenon of Technology Education should be embraced. This can be seen as (assertively) the emergence of ’technology wars’ or (benignly) as Technology ’s own complicated curriculum conversation (after Pinar et al. 1995).
Keywords: Controversy; controversial issues; curriculum; design and technology education; democracy; ’technology wars’
PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012
Apple; M.W.; (1979); Ideology and curriculum; Routledge and Kegan Paul; London.
Apple; M.W.; (2001); Educating the âRightâ Way: markets; standards; God and inequality; Routledge Falmer; New York.
Bijker; W.E; Hughes; T.P. & Pinch; T.; (Eds.); (1989); The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology; The MIT Press; Cambridge; Massachusetts.
Campbell; E.; (2003); The Ethical Teacher; Open University Press; Maidenhead; UK.
Csikezentmihalyi; M.; & Rochberg-Halton; E.; (1981); The Meaning of Things: Domestic symbols and the self; Cambridge University Press; Cambridge.
Department of Education; Training and Employment (DETE); (2001); South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability Framework (SACSA); URL: http://www.sacsa. sa.edu.au
de Vries; M.J.; (1994) âTechnology Education in Western Europeâ; in Layton; D. (ed.);(1994); Innovations in Science and Technology Education; Vol. V. pp 31-44; UNESCO; Paris.
Dusek; V.; (2006); Philosophy of Technology: An Introduction; Blackwell Publishing; Oxford.
Eisen; J.; (1999); Suppressed Inventions and other Discoveries; Avery; New York.
Feenberg; A.; (1999); Questioning Technology; Routledge; London.
Gallie; W.B.; (1956); âEssentially contested conceptsâ in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society New Series; Vol. 56; (1955 - 1956); pp. 167-198; Blackwell; Oxford; URL: http://www.jstor. org/stable/4544562
Green; L. & Guinery; R.; (eds.); (1994); Framing Technology: Society; Choice and Change; Allen & Unwin; St. Leonards.
Ihde; D.; (2002); Bodies in Technology; University of Minnesota Press; Minneapolis.
Ihde; D.; (2006); âThe Designer Fallacy and Technological Imaginationâ in (Ed.) Dakers; J.R.; (2006); Defining Technological Literacy: Towards an epistemological framework; (pp. 121- 131); Palgrave Macmillan; Basingstoke
International Technology Education Association; (2000); Standards for Technological Literacy: content for the study of technology; ITEA; Reston; Virginia.
Keirl; S.; (2006); âEthical technological literacy as democratic curriculum keystoneâ in (Ed.) Dakers; J.R.; (2006); Defining Technological Literacy: Towards an epistemological framework; pp 81-102; Palgrave Macmillan; Basingstoke.
Keirl; S.; (2009); âSeeing Technology Through Five Phases: a theoretical framing to articulate holism; ethics and critique in; and for; technological literacyâ in Design and Technology Education: An International Journal; (2009); Vol 14; No. 3; pp 37-46.
Keirl; S.; (2010); âSketches from within the binaries: technologyâs (non-)neutral ground and some curriculum implications.â in Spendlove; D. & Stables; K.; (Eds.); (2010); Ideas Worth Sharing: Proceedings of the Design and Technology Association International Research Conference 2010; pp.61-66; Design and Technology Association; Wellesbourne; UK.
Killen; R.; (2006); Effective Teaching Strategies: Lessons from research and practice; Thomson
Social Science Press; South Melbourne.
Layton; D.; (1994a). âA school subject in the making? The search for fundamentalsâ; in Layton; D.; (ed.); (1994); Innovations in Science and Technology Education; Vol. V. p11-28; n UNESCO; Paris.
Layton; D.; (ed.); (1994b); Innovations in Science and Technology Education; Vol. V. UNESCO; Paris.
Lingard; B.; Hayes; D.; Mills; M. & Christie; P.; (2003); Leading Learning: Making hope practical in schools; Open University Press; Maidenhead; UK.
Mitcham; C.; (1994); Thinking Through Technology: The Path between Engineering and Philosophy; University of Chicago Press; Chicago.
Nixon; M.; (1996); âDataveillanceâ in 21.C Scanning the Future #2:1996:30-36
Novak; B.A.; (2009) âDecisions (11)â (extract) in (Ed.) Godrej; D.; (2009); Fire in the Soul: 100 poems for human rights; p115; New Internationalist; Oxford.
Petrina; S.; (2000); âThe Politics of Technological Literacyâ in International Journal of Technology and Design Education; 10; 181-206.
Pinar; W.F.; Reynolds; W.M.; Slattery; P.; Taubman; P.M.; (1995) Understanding curriculum: An introduction to the study of historical and contemporary curriculum discourses; Peter Lang; New York.
Reid; A. & Johnson; B.; (Eds.); (1999); Contesting the Curriculum; Social Science Press; Katoomba.
Sachs; J.; (2003); The Activist Teaching Profession; Open University Press; Buckingham; UK.
Schon; D. A.; (1987) Educating the Reflective Practitioner: Toward a design for teaching and learning in the profession; Jossey-Bass; San Francisco; CA.
Schumacher; E.F.; (1986); Small is Beautiful; Abacus; London.
Sclove; R.E.; (1995); Democracy and Technology; The Guilford Press; N.Y.
Seemann; K.; (2003) âBasic principles in holistic technology educationâ in Journal of Technology Education; Spring 2003; Vol. 14; No. 2.
Simon; H.; (1957). âA Behavioral Model of Rational Choiceâ; in Models of Man; Social and Rational: Mathematical Essays on Rational Human Behavior in a Social Setting. New York: Wiley.
Smyth; J.; Dow; A.; Hattam; R.; Reid; A. & Shacklock; G.; (2000); Teachersâ Work in a Globalizing Economy; Falmer Press; London.
Snyder; I.; (2008); The Literacy Wars: Why teaching children to read and write is a battleground in Australia; Allen & Unwin; Crowâs Nest; NSW.
Stradling; R.; Noctor. M. & Baines; B.; (1984); Teaching Controversial Issues; Edward Arnold; London.
Tenner; E.; (1997); Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the revenge of unintended consequences; Vintage; New York.
White; P.A.; (1973); âEducation; Democracy; and the Public Interestâ; in Peters; R.S. (ed.); (1973); The Philosophy of Education; Oxford University Press; London.
Winner; L.; (1977); Autonomous Technology: technics-out-of-control as a theme in political thought; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Cambridge.