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To know a subject - Teachers' views about the subject of technology.

How the subject of technology is described and approached by teachers in the lower secondary school.

Time: Fri 2021-08-20 10.00

Location:, Stockholm (Swedish)

Subject area: Education and Communication in the Technological Sciences Technology and Learning

Doctoral student: Birgit Fahrman , Lärande i Stem

Opponent: Docent Kilbrink Nina, Karlstads Universitet

Supervisor: Professor Inga-Britt Skogh, Lärande; Docent Lena Gumaelius, Lärande; Lektor Per Norström, Lärande

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For teaching to be successful, teachers must be well-educated and have knowledge in many different fields. With a combination of solid subject knowledge, good teaching skills and the ability to balance these qualities, teachers can support students’ learning. However, Swedish compulsory school technology teaching does not always meet the requirements for a desired learning environment.   This thesis aims to extend our knowledge of how teachers perceive the subject of technology, its content and purpose and our understanding of how the teachers develop this knowledge. Two sets of data have resulted in three separate studies. Study 1 (paper 1) focus on experienced technology teachers’ views of their own teaching. Study 2 and 3 (paper 2 and 3 respectively) concern the views of novice technology teachers. Different theoretical frameworks enable understanding of the analysis. The pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) framework is applied on in-depth interviews. Theories about curriculum emphases together with a conceptual framework for technology concerning the subjects’ content were applied on the short-answer interviews about purpose and content of the subject. Findings show that experienced technology teacher highlight different purposes for technology education (depending on background) but agree upon that teaching must be student-active. They emphasize the design process as important and specific for the subject and that technology teaching requires various support structures for learning to take place. The novice teachers describe the subject as being hard to grasp with a difficult to understand syllabus. They express uncertainty about planning, implementing, and assessing teaching in relation to certain content as well as practical activities.     The three studies, separately and together, point to the importance of subject knowledge. Understanding of the technology subject seems to be the first step towards grasping how the subject should be taught. Future training of technology teachers must focus on knowledge of the subject's characteristics and understanding the subject’s purpose and content. A greater effort is also needed for everyone involved to create a common vision concerning the nature, purpose, and place of the technology subject in Swedish schools that contributes to pupils' understanding of the world around them while laying a good foundation for their further studies