Science and Mathematics as part of practical projects in technology and design: An analysis of challenges in realising the curriculum in Norwegian schools
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNorDiNa : Nordic Studies in Science Education. 2014, 10 (1), 3-15.
Technology and design is seen by many as having a potential for students to work with science and mathematics in practical contexts. The view is particularly evident in the Norwegian curriculum, where technology and design is defined as an interdisciplinary topic involving Science, Mathematics and Art & Crafts. This paper reports from a video study of the use of mathematics and science in student projects in technology and design. It was found that the projects contained little conceptual knowledge from mathematics and science even when their purpose was to do so. Through an inductive analysis informed by perspectives on technology and technological knowledge, we identify four issues that explain why this is the case: (i) Problem solving by other means, (ii) Focus on product quality, (iii) Not the right type of knowledge, and (iv) Concepts and procedures not necessary for the purpose. These issues are related to the nature of technology rather than to pedagogy, and the results suggest that technology and design as a domain of knowledge should be represented in the curriculum in its own right and not as an arena for learning science and mathematics.