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Projects in Technology Education and Fostering Learning: The Potential and Its Realization

Moshe Barak and Ahron Shachar
Journal of Science Education and Technology
Vol. 17, No. 3 (JUNE 2008), pp. 285-296
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41219422
Page Count: 12
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Projects in Technology Education and Fostering Learning: The Potential and Its Realization
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Abstract

The current study aimed at examining the efficacy of technological projects as learning tools by exploring the following questions: the extent to which projects in technology develop students as independent learners; the types of knowledge the students deal with in working on their projects; the role of problem-solving in technological projects; and how projects integrate into traditional schooling. The subjects were 53 high school (12th grade) students who prepared graduating projects in technology under the supervision of nine teachers. Data were collected by observing the students in the laboratory, administrating two questionnaires to both the students and the teachers, and analyzing 25 portfolios prepared by the students of their projects. The findings indicate that projects in technology provide a good opportunity to engage students in challenging tasks that enhance their learning skills. To maximize this potential, it is necessary to employ the project method from the early stages of learning technology. It is especially important that teachers having a strong engineering orientation also acquire pedagogical knowledge on issues such as fostering independent learning, creativity, peer learning and reflective practice in the technological classroom.

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