A wider take on the value of technology

3rd February 2012 at 00:00

There appears to be a blind spot in our thinking about technology, which seems to be identified with electronics, computers, mobile phones and the internet.

Education should be clear about its aims in fostering students' understanding of those productive activities that make us human. To develop this clarity we need a common and comprehensive understanding of "technology". Any review of the curriculum and inspection service must have such an understanding built into it.

In 1968, the Schools Council consulted teachers and professional bodies on this issue. The following definition became the foundation for work in the following decades: "Technology is the purposeful use of man's knowledge of materials, sources of energy and natural phenomena."

Let us ensure that all the experience acquired since is put to good use through sound curriculum leadership.

Geoffrey Harrison, Professor emeritus, County Durham.

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