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Technological systems across contexts: designing and exploring learning possibilities in Swedish compulsory technology education Åke Ingerman, Maria Svensson.

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Presentation on theme: "Technological systems across contexts: designing and exploring learning possibilities in Swedish compulsory technology education Åke Ingerman, Maria Svensson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technological systems across contexts: designing and exploring learning possibilities in Swedish compulsory technology education Åke Ingerman, Maria Svensson & Anders Berglund, Shirley Booth, Jonas Emanuelsson Contact: or

2 Phenomenography and variation theory Pedagogical situations Systems thinking Compulsory technology education Classroom teaching and learning Project nodes

3 Research question What does it take to learn, and what does it mean to teach for learning, Technological Systems, their constituent parts and the relations between them when the systems are embedded in different contexts and encountered in different pedagogical structures?

4 Technological systems in compulsory school ‘technological systems’ form an important part of the school subject Technology in Swedish schools, focusing aspects such as components, subsystems, risks, advantages in the context of electricity, internet, transport etc. Our working definition of technological systems - encompass much of what characterises technology - goal-directed, delivering both to society and to individuals, but have also unwanted effects - may concern detrimental influence on the environment - not tangible, thus less supported by informal learning than other themes in technology

5 What does it mean to learn and phenomenography Qualitatively different ways of understanding the ’same’ phenomenon – empirical investigations (e.g. Svensson, Zetterqvist & Ingerman 2012) => possible to identify aspects of the phenomenon critical for learning. => theory to support how learning comes about. Variation in dimensions constituted from such critical aspects necessary condition for learning.

6 Dimensions of variation – technological systems Resource – What the system acts on, in terms of matter, energy and information. Intention – What can be identified as the system’s intended function (c.f. the intended function of artefacts, de Vries 2005). Internal structure – How the systems is organised in terms of components, framework of relationships and human agency. External structure – How the system is organised in terms of how it interacts with the surrounding world, such as other technological, natural and social systems. (Svensson 2011a;b; Svensson & Ingerman 2010; Svensson, Zetterqvist & Ingerman 2012)

7 Three major pedagogical contexts Analysing problems, such as considering how the systemic nature of a particular system changes when a central component or aspect of the framework of relationships changes. Examples are the break of power wires connecting northern and southern Sweden and the merging of the mobile and land-line phone communication systems that is underway. Working with representations. Examples are the tram time-tables in conjunction with the map of destinations, or a flow chart of normal mail distribution, and diagrams of power usage across different times of the year and times of day. Experiencing systems, coming into physical as well as conceptual contact with systems. Examples involve visiting central components in different systems, such as airports, sewage works, or inspecting a power generator.

8 Tentative patterns of variation Based on 1) variation theory design principles (contrast, separation and fusion), 2) empirical descriptions of key challenges in understanding complex systems, and 3) empirical descriptions of aspects that are critical for learning technological systems in the targeted educational level In each dimension – distinct contrast between systems characteristics and non-systems characteristics

9 Resource Specific resource in contrast to systems resource Exemplify resources of distinct different character – only matter, energy or information Matter Energy Information

10 Intention Specific person seeing the need and ascribing technological artefact to meet that need In contrast to recurrent need, and establishing a community to sustain a shared intention

11 Internal structure of system Components organised linearly In contrast to components organised in a network Differentiate components and their relationships – transform and transport, relation to system intention Transportation Transformation

12 External structure Less central for core understanding of systems Limits of systems – other possible systems (”arbitrary”) Interaction with surrounding – consequences and dependencies

13 Research questions Overall questions: What does it take to learn, and what does it mean to teach for learning, Technological Systems, their constituent parts and the relations between them when the systems are embedded in different contexts and encountered in different pedagogical structures? Specific questions: What do students in the lower secondary school understand of technological systems in terms of their constituent parts when given opportunities to explore systems in different contexts? What can teachers offer as a platform for developing a general understanding of Technological Systems with recourse to different systems set in different contexts? How are Technological Systems expressed in different contexts in different pedagogical structures in the classroom arena?

14 Basic design Design of teaching and learning events Audio and video documentation of such events. Focus how learning of technological systems manifest in 1) different system contexts 2) different pedagogical conditions (e.g. Lecture, group discussion, problem solving, pratical work). Analytical ”tracing” of ways in which critical aspect manifest in these different context, and putting that in relation to content and pedagogical conditions. Phenomenography and variation theory. => Outcome of ”good” ways of teaching and learning technological systems, how such learning is constituted and ways in which it manifests in different context (important for e.g. Assessment). Both process and product descriptions.

15 Conclusion Towards the development of a design for learning technological systems in Swedish compulsory school Core patterns of variation in four dimensions: - resource - intention - internal structure - external structure Next step to design detailed teaching and learning events in collaboration with teachers Followed by the realisation and evaluation of these events (PATT 2014?) – PCK input for technology education


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