A project about materials as subject content within technology education
Within technology education in compulsory school in Sweden, materials are part of the core contents. What kinds of materials, and which characteristics that should be highlighted is open to interpretation. The study includes three sub-studies: 1/ An analysis of classroom activities during two lessons about materials in primary school, 2/ A Delphi study (Osborne et al. 2003) with experts on materials to gather their thoughts about materials in elementary technology education, and 3/ A review of text books. The purpose of this study is to put light on the field of materials as a content area by investigating what aspects of materials are highlighted in the three contexts. Two teaching sessions were video recorded. The data analysis focused on the content highlighted by teachers and students. Results suggest that the teachers and students highlight different aspects of materials. Nine experts participated in the first round of the Delphi study. All data were coded reflexively and iteratively. Results indicate the following major categories of material-related subject content: materials’ usage, groups of materials, properties, creation and refinement, environmental aspects, and modern materials. The themes identified in the study could be seen as limited and concretized set of content, and thereby a guiding tool for technology teachers.
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