Considering some big issues: and the role of technology education in transformational change

Susan McLaren

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter aims to encourage further exploration and consideration of some key issues for 21st century Technology Education. It discusses challenges with specific reference to implications of teaching and learning, the role Technology Education has the potential to take, and the contribution is has the possibility to make.

The intention is not to provide a definitive list of every issue facing us as Technology Education practitioners. Indeed, the rate of change in Technology, and by implication, Technology Education, renders such an idea impossible. There is also no intention of examining and discussing any individual national curriculum guidelines for Technology Education from the current international portfolios. These documents tend to be reviewed, revised, and may be fairly transient; subject as they may be to political and economic imperatives and interference.

Rather, this chapter intends to encourage educators to reflect on some of the broader, complex aspects of the purpose(s) of curriculum, pedagogy in the 21st century and the impact and influence on Technology Education.

For example, how does Technology Education deal with the exploration of values and ethics of actions and behaviors; emotional literacy; uncertainty and compromise; controversial and topical issues without due disorientation? What can be done through Technology Education to respect and value technological traditions, heritage and contributions to national cultures while responding to globalization, worldwide networks and shared concerns, and enable our young people to be active citizens in the international arena? Such questions serve to promote reflexive scrutiny and may lead to alternative models and pedagogies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTechnology Education for Teachers
EditorsJohn P Williams
Place of PublicationRotterdam
PublisherSense Publishers
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9789462091597
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameInternational Technology Education Series
PublisherSense Publishers


  • Design and Technology Education
  • issues based learning
  • Values in education
  • sustainable development
  • Learning for Sustainability
  • Curriculum development
  • artisanal education
  • cad/cam
  • role of creativity
  • transformational change


Dive into the research topics of 'Considering some big issues: and the role of technology education in transformational change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • Developing values

    McLaren, S., May 2015, Learning to Teach Design and Technology in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience. Owen-Jackson, G. (ed.). 3rd ed. Abingdon: Routledge, p. 287-302 16 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

    Open Access
  • Students as choice makers: developing altered consciousness as an aspect of design and global citizenship literacy

    Keirl, S. & McLaren, S., 2013, DRS// CUMULUS 2013: 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers Oslo, 14-17 May 2013.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

  • Challenge for Design and Technology Education: A changing Paradigm

    McLaren, S., 2010, Education in a Global Space: Research and Practice in Initial Teacher Education. Wisely, T. L. K., Barr, K. M., Britton, A. & King, B. (eds.). Edinburgh: Scotdec, p. 113-125 13 p. (IDEAS for Global Citizenship).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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