Developing a Values-based Approach to Technology Education: Ethical Appropriateness of Design Solutions
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The importance of values in Technology Education has become a major concern as technology curriculum documents are designed and implemented. The Technology Years 1 to 10 Syllabus (QSA, 2003) in Queensland places emphasis on aspects of appropriateness as students develop and examine design solutions through working technologically. This paper reports the findings of an investigation of student teachers' confidence and preparedness in being able to consider the ethical appropriateness and the strategies they would employ to promote student considerations of ethical design solutions to design challenges. Consistent with Fleer and Jane's citation of Levinson's conclusion that "few teachers, whatever their specialism, can handle the ethical aspects of contemporary science and technology issues with much confidence or experience", an analysis of student teacher responses revealed an array of strategies including avoidance of controversial or 'touchy' issues, use of a(n) (un) common sense approach, honesty, a search for 'truth', and a respect for personal values and beliefs. The key implication which emerged from the student teacher responses was that technology education requires values-based pedagogical approaches to enable student teachers to confidently deal with the ethical appropriateness of design solutions.
4th Biennial International Conference on Technology Education Research: Values in Technology Education
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