Holistic technology education

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Seemann, KW 2002, Holoistic technology education', in H Middleton, M Pavlova & D Roebuck (eds), Proceedings of Learning in Technology Education, Challenges for the 21st century , Griffith University, Nathan, Qld., Centre for Learning Research, Griffith University, Nathan, Qld, vol. 2, pp.174 - 181. ISBN: 0909291748

Available on Open Access


How do we know when we are teaching technology holistically and why must we do so? Increasingly, more is asked of technology educators to be holistic in the understanding conveyed of technology itself and so in curriculum, assessment framework and modes of delivery. In NSW two good examples of this has been the shift from Engineering Science to Engineering Studies where social/ethical and environmental factors have to be learned while in the new and emerging 2003 Design and Technology 7–10 syllabus 'holistic solutions' are described. This paper advances historical and theoretical research and articulates classroom practice changes for holistic technology education with particular emphasis on offering a grounded frame of reference to guide student learning and understanding in the holistic character of any technological activity and decision event. A First Principles framework for structuring learning for holistic understanding of technologies and processes in design is therefore presented. The case is made for technology to not merely be a 'know how' learning experience, but necessarily and increasingly also a 'know why' learning experience. The latter being essential for innovation and transfer, especially for adapting to and taking decisions towards solutions that may need to accommodate rapid-change settings.