Verillon's Trio and Wenger's Community: learning in technology education

Head, G. (2005) Verillon's Trio and Wenger's Community: learning in technology education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 15(1), pp. 33-45. (doi: 10.1007/s10798-004-6194-3)

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The world has become and continues to be an increasingly complex place for our schools, young people and their teachers. The accepted ‘standard’ curricula of the mid-twentieth century in western schools have been increasingly questioned, augmented and extended to meet the growing social,cognitive and affective demands of learning. For our young learners, this has led to the introduction of ‘new’ areas of interaction between themselves and teachers such as counselling, pastoral care and learning support (Besley 2002; Head et al. 2003; Philip et al. 2004). In addition, existing, traditional curricular areas have also undergone change. Most significantly for this paper, the technical subjects of the 1950s and 1960s have reinvented themselves as technology education or design and technology education. (For the purposes of this paper, we will hereafter use the term technology education) For our teachers, much of what we have learned about learning in the past 20 years has led to the development of pedagogies that challenge the didactic1 teaching methods that persisted well into the late twentieth century. In particular, the work of Vygotsky has had a major impact on educational thinking. Edwards and Daniels (2004) identify two important strands emerging as Vygotsky’s successors develop his work, sociocultural theory as it is seen in the work of Jerome Bruner, for example, and activity theory promoted by Yrjo¨ Engestro¨ m. These theories and corresponding or derivative programmes have found a place on the margins of education, in special education, (for example Head and O’Neill 1999) where, it might be argued, there is a more urgent need for something ‘different’ to happen. However, it is our contention that, in mainstream schools (at least in Scotland), and in technology classes in particular, the theories are eitherlargely unknown or have not been interrogated fully in order to explore their implications for teaching and learning. There may be many reasons for this state of affairs (and, of course, there are exceptions) which represents a lost International Journal of Technology and Design Education (2005) 15:33–46 Springer 2005 opportunity to develop the practices and, most importantly for Vygotskians, the language: that allow people to think beyond the limit of their immediate everyday experiences and to work collaboratively with others to build new knowledge. (Edwards and Daniels 2004, p. 108) In the remainder of this paper, we seek to find a way to address this situation in order that developments in teaching come to match what we know about how young people learn, and both can become the vehicle through which design and technology education allows our young people to question, challenge and actively engage in the development of

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Head, Dr George
Authors: Head, G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Journal Name:International Journal of Technology and Design Education
Publisher:Springer Netherlands
ISSN (Online):1573-1804

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