Curriculum presage in technology education

Year: 1994

Author: Peacock, Lyn

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

National curriculum reorganisation has prompted the coalition of several previous subject/discipline areas. The chosen frameworks of national curriculum appear to have been developed for an economic rationalist purpose. In New South Wales, Agriculture, Computing, Home Economics and Industrial Arts have been gathered into one Key Learning Area, the Technological and Applied Studies Key Learning Area. This has resulted in tension, not only in the production of a new core subject, Design and Technology, but also in the methods by which this subject is delivered in individual schools.

This paper will seek to explain some of those tensions with reference to previous curriculum in the areas of Home Economics and Industrial Arts. In analysing the production of new curriculum, the influences of political and economic societal goals transposed on those charged with the task of curriculum development will be considered. Further, the models of curriculum organisation and conceptions about what should be taught and how it should be delivered provide spaces to identify disparity between previous and present practice. Technology education appears to "fall between the lines" and not present one clear orientation to curriculum. Such lack of conceptual clarity is evident in the inability of key documents to define key terms such as technology.

Currently, adoption of the desired classroom practice for technology education is problematic. In-school factors direct the nature of student experience. These processes of negotiation and renegotiation are the basis for a larger theoretical study being undertaken of power and resistance in curriculum implementation.