Problem-solving in technology education as an approach to education for sustainable development
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This paper explores the issue of how students might learn about sustainability in technology -education classrooms and the relevance of problem-solving in that learning. One of the emerging issues in technology education research is the nature of problem-solving specified in curriculum documents and the kinds of learning activities undertaken by students in technology education classrooms. In parallel with our developing understanding of the characteristics of good technology education programs is the inclusion in recent curriculum documents of the concept of sustainability or sustainable development. However, as yet there is little information about how technology students think about sustainability and how they might best learn about it. This is of particular interest because in technology education, sustainability is often described in curriculum documents as an issue that is intended to be integrated within design projects and activities, rather than being the topic of a classroom lesson as might happen in a subject such as environmental studies. This paper explores current understanding of the issue generally and within technology education. It concludes that the design, problem-solving approach that is common to technology education classrooms provides many affordances to students engaging meaningfully with ideas of sustainability and of developing strong understandings of its scope and significance.
International Journal of Technology and Design Education
© 2009 Springer Netherlands. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy