Article | PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012 | The importance of technological activity and designing and making activity; a historical perspective

Title:
The importance of technological activity and designing and making activity; a historical perspective
Author:
Matt McLain: Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
Download:
Full text (pdf)
Year:
2012
Conference:
PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012
Issue:
073
Article no.:
039
Pages:
330-340
No. of pages:
11
Publication type:
Abstract and Fulltext
Published:
2012-06-18
ISBN:
978-91-7519-849-1
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet


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Whilst tool use is by no means an exclusive human trait; the “ability to deliberately manipulate” is central to our development; and it is our ability to “create complex artefacts” (Wolpert; 2003) that sets us apart. Recent archaeological and neuroscience advances have suggested that the activity of designing and making of tools; such as the handaxe; played a crucial role in the development of language. This paper will argue that the technological mindset is a preeminent paradigm in human development.

The paper will work within an interpretive and constructivist paradigm. The standpoint of the author is that of a technologist and literature is used to build and argument for the historic relevance of technological achievement; the trustworthiness of the research will be addressed through critical and reflective review of literature. The conclusion ends with polemic and rhetorical questions; based on the discussion; aimed a generating further debate both within the subject and the wider educational communities.

In the context of curriculum change in the English education system; the aim of this paper is to re-examine the role of designing and making activity and technology education. The findings will be literature from contemporary neuroscience; and revisit the original nature of design and technology and current challenges (Ofsted; 2011); highlighting the historical and social importance of the designing and making activity.

A central assertion of this paper is that core subjects; such as science; in the contemporary English curriculum owe their origins to technological innovation; in terms of solving human needs through design and making. As such; they argue for the case for continued inclusion within a broad curriculum; in whatever form it may take; from a cultural rather than purely a technical or economic perspective.

Keywords: Technology; designing; making; design and technology; tool use; neuroscience; cultural psychology; constructivism; socio-technological

PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012

Author:
Matt McLain
Title:
The importance of technological activity and designing and making activity; a historical perspective
References:

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PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012

Author:
Matt McLain
Title:
The importance of technological activity and designing and making activity; a historical perspective
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