UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Industrial education in the elementary school curriculum Hickling, Kenneth Joseph


The main purpose of this study was the design of a curriculum which placed an emphasis on problem solving through the practical approach of woodworking. In more philosophical terms, it can be described as an attempt to unite thinking with doing. In order to accomplish this aim a necessary part of the study became the examination of the curriculum development process in theoretical terms, followed by the implementation of this process in the design of the proposed curriculum and finally the evaluation of the proposed curriculum in formative terms. In reviewing the literature support was found for a structured or organised framework for curriculum development. This concept of curriculum development was adapted for this study. Problem solving was given a major emphasis in the proposed curriculum, with skill development considered important, though secondary to problem solving. Creativity and design were regarded as contributing elements to the problem solving component, and projects were planned in such a way that the child would be given the opportunity for creative input and involved in the design of the project; thus problem solving became an integral part of the project. For the purpose of formative evaluation, projects from the proposed curriculum and a 1960 Grade 7 Woodworking program, were judged in respect to their problem solving and skill development components. The results of the evaluation clearly illustrated the difference in emphasis of the two programs. The 1960 program scored highly in skill development and received a low score for problem solving from independent judges. The proposed curriculum was given an above average score for skill development and a high score for problem solving. In conclusion it was noted that: (1) Experience played a major part in the classroom teacher's approach to curriculum development, and that this would have important implications with regard to beginning teachers. (2) The project evaluation format, with some refinements, could be utilized in other areas of Industrial Education. (3) The proposed curriculum with its emphasis on "thinking" could be of benefit in programs for gifted children. It was also recommended that the proposed curriculum be implemented in an elementary school in order that the process of summative evaluation may be accomplished.

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