UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Contextualizing the gendered and industrial bias of technology education O’Riley, Patricia Ann


Technology education in North America has been almost exclusively a male phenomenon. Technology education continues to be taught by males to predominantly males. In addition to excluding females, technology education excludes students from various ethnic, cultural, social and academic groups. Recent revisions of technology education curricula have attempted to address these Inequities. The resulting curricula are purported to be relevant to all students and appropriate to the needs of society. This thesis analyzes the extent to which curricular revisions address the inequities and appropriateness of technology education curricula. My analysis shows that the revised curricula are neither suitable for nor relevant to the needs of most students. Revised curricula support a hegemonic devotion to the 'device paradigm' which permeates much of North American culture, and such hegemony Is a barrier to the development of a form of technological literacy which may empower students to influence rather than simply participate in technological developments. The curricula examined do not explicate the paradigms In which they are situated, nor do they address fundamental questions such as: What purpose should education serve in society? and. What role should technology education play in education generally? Paradigms of traditional and current technology education curricula are identified and elements of critical, Freirian and feminist pedagogy are proposed as promising ways of countering hegemony in education. Since other academic areas may well suffer from similar inequities, and may share the hegemony of technology education, the issues raised In this thesis may be generalizable to other subject areas in education.

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