[ASC-media] Technology education not about computers in schools

Cathy Reade creade at squirrel.com.au
Fri Aug 20 15:26:23 EST 2004


EMBARGOED: 23 August 2004

Schools Big on Computers But Ignoring Technology

There is a common misconception held within schools and school systems that
if their students have reasonable access to computers, their school has
covered the need to teach ‘technology’, according to the pre-eminent body of
specialists in science, technology and engineering.

“Technology is really a way of Thinking” is a brochure distributed this week
by The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)
to 350 education bodies and 5000 schools Australia-wide to increase the
understanding of the meaning of technology and the objectives of technology
education in schools. The brochure follows ATSE’s 2002 report that warned of
the gross inadequacy of technology and science teaching within Australia,
particularly in primary schools.

“Technology is not just IT or teaching computers in schools. Those involved
in schools should have a much greater appreciation of the fact that
technology is a way of thinking – it is about using what is known to solve
problems,” explained Professor Don Watts, Chair of the ATSE Education
Committee, and Professor of Science and Education of the University of Notre
Dame Australia.

“Teaching technology will make students better able to think creatively and
to design, assemble and evaluate solutions to problems in all aspects of
their learning.  Science, maths, arts and social studies are all part of the
intellectual and practical activities that are part of technology
 education,” he said.

“If Australia is to become a more innovative and enterprising country,
technology education in schools must have a central place in the education
of ALL students, not just those studying computers or technical courses such
as metalwork, woodwork or home economics,” explained Professor Watts.

“ATSE has produced this pamphlet because it believes technology has an
important place as a Key Learning Area but that respect for its place
demands that it is more widely understood,” he said.

“In our discussions around the country, we have found many teachers ill
prepared for the teaching of technology. Yet teachers have made significant
endeavours despite inadequate support, facilities and equipment,” he said.

For more information, a copy of the brochure or to arrange an interview,
contact Cathy Reade, Media Liaison, ATSE, 0413 575 934.

You can access the ATSE brochure online at
http://www.atse.org.au/?sectionid=26 and then click on the pdf for the
brochure or from their homepage at www.atse.org.au

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)
represents over 700 of Australia’s top specialists in applications of
science & technology

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