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Technology education in British Columbia : a survey of history, programs and practices Dalley, Stephen Ronald

Abstract

Technologically literate citizens can participate intelligently and thoughtfully in the world around them. This research provides a picture of the state of Technology Education in the public schools of British Columbia at the beginning of a new Millennium. A substantial literature review traces the origins of Technology Education back through Industrial Education, Industrial Arts to Manual Training, championed at the turn of the last century by the philanthropist William Macdonald. Manual Training's grounding in European Sloyd based Educational Systems provides a backdrop for a review of the published results of several commission reports and surveys. A detailed evaluation of a recent province-wide survey of all Middle, Junior and Senior Secondary schools provides statistics that support arguments that additional TE teachers will be required in the immediate future to replace those retiring. The shops and labs in BC's public schools studied are a mixture of traditional, general shops and New Technology labs. School departmental program offerings as well as specific subjects being delivered were analyzed and critiqued to provide insight from within the schools. A picture emerges from the findings illustrating the possibility that an industrial focused curriculum is being delivered under the guise of Technology Education, with troubling consequences. Computer based and new technology subjects are gaining popularity but male dominated narrow tool-skill subjects Woodwork, Metalwork and Automotive continue be promoted, even in the face of declining enrolments. A purposeful curriculum invigoration of some twenty years in is danger of stalling or reversing. The transformative nature of research and the investigative process is illustrated in the final chapter that deals with my own narratives of socialization and experiences in Industrial, Vocational, and Technology Education. My own life history illustrates and reflects the historical phases of Technology Education Evolution.

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