With the new technologies boom of the 21st century, we have a new challenge, how do we approach children correctly to learn about technology?
We have different approaches which can be used:
Approach I: Business/market approach
It would be a learning process that prepares young people for the labour market. How the tools we use at work evolve and how they work, there is an evolution of short-term tools. This means that we have to constantly update ourselves, since technology is advancing. What is today’s last generation, tomorrow has become obsolete.
Approach II: Problem solving
Technology as a tool to solve the problems of the society. Technology helps us and facilitates the way to solve the problems and needs that we currently face to. First we raise and analyse these problems, we generate simple models of resolution, we highlight the interrelation between each solution with the materials and technological tools that could be used, and with the sociocultural environment, and we analyse other alternatives.
Approach III: Learning concepts
We get some basic concepts about the objects that are part of the day to day environment. We learn to use technology, why it arose, how it was made, what were the needs, the environmental impact …
Approach IV: Applied science
This approach would be the practical application of knowledge.Taken into account the previous approaches, we start to think in which would be the appropriate. To answer that we have to previously think about some questions: What do we want to teach? How do we want to teach it? What is our goal?
Which one is our goal?
The most widespread objective of all educational systems is the development of all the personal skills [GILBERT, J.K., in his article about technological education]
What do we want to teach?
As it is mentioned in the catalogue of technological education specialties of the technological education unit, reflecting on the purposes of technological education is the first condition to promote a conscious and responsible technological education for the orientation of its educational function.
- To develop values, attitudes, habits, abilities and skills in the use of tools, materials and equipment, applying scientific and technological knowledge.
- To support the student in order to secure the ability to find practical solutions to real problems; from the development of their creativity, with the use of available resources and the understanding of the main characteristics of the technology.
- To highlight the importance of technology in human development, through the application of knowledge for the production of individual and social wellbeing.
- To link science and technology through observation, research and experimentation that occur in the development of practical activities.
How do we want to teach it?
In a learning by doing process, using the technology that every day is surrounding us to acquire the technological skills required to be successful nowadays.
As a conclusion, there is no a single and right approach, there is a set of them, one cannot live without another. As an example, teaching maths we cannot choose between practicing calculus or problem solving. To do one, you need the other … If we combine the different approaches, we get the right one.