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An international study of curricular organizers for the study of technology
Barnes, James L.
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The purpose of the study was to identify the key descriptors of a definition of technology and curricular organizers for use in the study of technology. Seven panels were used for the three round Delphi to identify the key descriptors and curricular organizers. The panels included: (1) technology educators, (2) philosophers of education, (3) philosophers of technology, (4) historians of technology, (5) anthropologists of technology, (6) futurists, (7) industrialists/business leaders. A Thurstone and Chave Method of Equal Appearing Intervals was used to assign scale and Q values to each item ranked in the Q sort. An 80th centile was used for an item to achieve a consensus. The results of both research questions were rank ordered based on scale value from highest to lowest. Fourteen key descriptors of a definition of technology obtained a consensus. These are innovation; invention; creative; extends human capabilities (physical, social ,and intellectual); a process (change, individual, corporate, design, creative, and systematic); extension of human potential; problem solving; purposeful human manipulation of the material world; closely linked to science but not simply applied science, body of knowledge; used to solve problems and create opportunities; played an important role in the emergence of Homo sapiens; a system of tools, knowledge, and behaviors associated with the exploitation of environments; and has social, economic, political, and environmental impacts. Seven curricular organizers achieved a consensus. These are problem solving; process organizers (creativity, enterprise, systems, inventions, and problem solving); the process of technology; design and innovation; research and development; and awareness of implications and potential of technology (health, food, communication, production, and control).
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