Nature of Technology: Implications for design, development, and enactment of technological tools in school science classrooms

Noemi Waight, Fouad Abd-El-Khalick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This position paper provides a theory-based explanation informed by philosophy of technology (PoT) of the recurrent documented patterns often associated with attempts to enact technology-supported, inquiry-based approaches in precollege science classrooms. Understandings derived from the history of technological development in other domains (e.g. medicine, transportation, and warfare) reveal numerous parallels that help to explain these recurrent patterns. Historical analyses of major technologies reveal a conglomerate of factors that interact to produce benefits, as well as intended and unintended consequences. On a macro-scale, PoT facilitates understandings of how technologies interact and are impacted by individuals, society, institutions, economy, politics, and culture. At the micro-level, and most relevant to science education, PoT engages the inherent nature of technology along a number of key dimensions: role of culture and values, notions of technological progression, technology as part of systems, technological diffusion, technology as a fix, and the notions of expertise. Overall, the present analysis has implications for the design, development, implementation, and adoption of technological tools for use in precollege science education, and highlights the role of technology as both artifact and process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2875-2905
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Volume34
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

Keywords

  • Inquiry-based teaching
  • Learning technologies
  • Nature of technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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