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  • 1.
    Björkholm, Eva
    et al.
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Learning in Engineering Sciences.
    Engström, Susanne
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Learning in Engineering Sciences.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Learning in Engineering Sciences.
    Exploring Materials as Subject Content within Technology Education2016In: PATT2016: Technology Education for 21st Century, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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 documents (syllabus, teachers’ handbooks). 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 objects of teachers and students. Results suggest that the teachers highlight different aspects; one teacher focused on naming the materials and describing what products they are used for, while the other emphasized the materials’ properties. Ten experts participated in the first round of the Delphi study. Their responses were coded reflexively and iteratively. Results indicate the following major categories of material-related subject content: groups of materials, properties, creation and refinement, use, development over time, environmental aspects, and modern materials. The syllabus states that young pupils should study materials that they can use (wood, cardboard). Later common materials (steel, concrete) are introduced and at the end of compulsory school modern materials. Materials’ properties and use in solving technical problems is studied, and their environmental effects. Preliminary results indicate that some content emerges in all three contexts: material usage, the material’s functional properties and origin of the material, production and processing.

  • 2.
    Engström, Susanne
    et al.
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning.
    Andersson, Kristina
    Uppsala universitet.
    Danielsson, Anna
    Uppsala universitet.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning.
    Gullberg, Annica
    Örebro universitet.
    Husseinus, Anita
    Uppsala universitet.
    Elmgren, Maja
    Uppsalla universitet.
    Lärarutbildares naturvetenskap under lupp – en studie av gränslandet mellan ämnesdiscipliner och skolämnen2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Engström, Susanne
    et al.
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning.
    Björkholm, Eva
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning.
    A project about materials as subject content within technology education.2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Engström, Susanne
    et al.
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning.
    Björkholm, Eva
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Learning in Engineering Sciences.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Learning in Engineering Sciences.
    A project about materials as subject content within technology education2017In: The proceedings of the XVII IOSTE Symposium released in journal ‘Conexão Ciência’. Conexão Ci. | Formiga/MG, E-ISSN 1980-7058, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 8-14Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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.

  • 5.
    Fahrman, Birgit
    et al.
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Gumaelius, Lena
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Technology education in primary school in Sweden: A study of teachers views on teaching strategies and subject content2015In: ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings, 2015, Vol. 122, no 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for SocietyConference paper (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Gumaelius, Lena
    et al.
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Difficulties and opportunities when teaching about technological systems in K-122015In: 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society, American Society for Engineering Education , 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Socio-technical systems are studied in compulsory school (pupils aged 7–16) in Sweden. The purpose is to increase pupils’ understanding of how technology and society affect one another by highlighting the interaction between technological artefacts, humans, institutions, and society at large. Many teachers find this subject difficult to teach, and therefore avoid it. To rectify this, a course module about socio-technical systems for teachers was instigated at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. This study was conducted during that course, and shows that teachers are affected by their educational backgrounds in their understanding of the systems; those who are trained in social sciences prioritize different aspects of the systems in their teaching than do those who have started out in the natural sciences. It also shows that the formulation of learning objectives in this area is very difficult for most teachers and few students include goals that relate to more general knowledge in areas such as genderrelated issues, historical aspects or environmental issues. Few of the students showed the ability to create a varied learning environment; searching information on the Internet and writing reports dominate the students’ suggestions. Understanding of socio-technical systems has the potential to bridge the gap between engineering and various aspects of society in education. It is therefore an essential part of technological literacy, and teacher training in the area should be improved.

  • 7.
    Hartell, Eva
    et al.
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Technical Science Education.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Technical Science Education.
    What is it called and how does it work?: Investigating classroom assessment through teachers' tests in elementrary technology education.2015In: Assessment and Social Justice: The 16th Annual AEA- Europe Conference, Glasgow, 2015, p. 87-88Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Engineers' non-scientific models in technology education2013In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804, Vol. 23, no 2, p. 377-390Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Engineers commonly use rules, theories and models that lack scientific justification. Examples include rules of thumb based on experience, but also models based on obsolete science or folk theories. Centrifugal forces, heat and cold as substances, and sucking vacuum all belong to the latter group. These models contradict scientific knowledge, but are useful for prediction in limited contexts and they are used for this when convenient. Engineers’ work is a common prototype for the pupils’ work with product development and systematic problem solving during technology lessons. Therefore pupils should be allowed to use the engineers’ non-scientific models as well as scientific ones when doing design work in school technology. The acceptance of the non-scientific models for action guidance could be experienced as contradictory by pupils and teachers alike: a model that is allowed, or even encouraged in technology class is considered wrong when doing science. To account for this, different epistemological frameworks must be used in science and technology.Technology is first and foremost what leads to useful results, not about finding the truth or generally applicable laws. This could cause pedagogical problems, but also provide useful examples to explain the limitations of models, the relation between model and reality, and the differences between science and technology.

  • 9.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy. Avdelningen för filosofi.
    Engineers' non-scientific models in the design process2011In: PATT 25:CRIPT8: Perspectives on learning in design and technology education / [ed] Kay Stables, Clare Benson, Marc J. de Vries, London: Goldsmiths, University of London , 2011, p. 321-325Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Engineers commonly use rules, theories and models that lack scientific justification. Examples include rules of thumb based on experience, but also models based on folk theories and obsolete science. Centrifugal forces and sucking vacuum belong to the latter group. These models contradict scientific knowledge, but are useful for prediction in limited contexts where they are used when found convenient. Engineersʼ work is a common prototype for the pupilsʼ work with product development and systematic problem solving during technology lessons. Therefore pupils should be allowed to use the engineersʼ non-scientific models when doing design work in school technology. The acceptance of these could be experienced as contradictory by the pupils: a model that is allowed or even encouraged in technology class is considered wrong when doing science. To account for this, different epistemological frameworks must be used in science and technology. Technology is first and foremost about usefulness, not about truth. This could cause pedagogical problems, but also provide useful examples to explain the limitations of models, the relation between model and reality, and the differences between science and technology.

  • 10.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Explanation and prediction in technology education2013In: Technology teachers as researchers: Philosophical and Empirical Technology Education Studies in the Swedish TUFF Research School / [ed] Inga-Britt Skogh, Marc J. de Vries, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2013, p. 33-51Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    An explanation improves understanding. In technology education, explanations are needed to increase pupils' understanding of for example technical mechanisms, artefact functions, and how technology affects society and the sciences. Explanations in technology differ from those in science due to the great importance of intentions and normative characteristics in technology. In this article, a classification system for explanations in technology education is sketched. Explanations are classified according to the characteristics of their explananda (what they are to explain), how they are presented, and what kinds of models they utilise. They are evaluated according to whether their contents fulfil their purpose, and how well they suit their audience.

  • 11.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    How technology teachers understand technological knowledge2014In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 19-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Swedish technology teachers’ views of technological knowledge are examined through a written survey and a series of interviews. The study indicates that technology teachers’ understandings of what constitutes technological knowledge and how it is justified vary considerably. The philosophical discussions on the topic are unknown to them. This lack of a proper framework for what constitutes technological knowledge and how it is justified might affect both how curricula are interpreted and how pupils’ knowledge is assessed.

  • 12.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Knowing how, knowing that, knowing technology2015In: Philosophy & Technology, ISSN 2210-5433, E-ISSN 2210-5441, Vol. 28, no 4, p. 553-565Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A wide variety of skills, abilities and knowledge are used in technological activities such as engineering design. Together, they enable problem solving and artefact creation. Gilbert Ryle’s division of knowledge into knowing how and knowing that is often referred to when discussing this technological knowledge. Ryle’s view has been questioned and criticised by those who claim that there is only one type, for instance, Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson who claim that knowing how is really a form of knowing that and Stephen Hetherington who claims that knowing that isknowing how. Neither Ryle himself nor any of his critics have discussed technological knowledge. Exposing both Ryle’s and his critics’ ideas to technological knowledge show that there are strong reasons to keep the knowing how–knowing that dichotomy in technological contexts. The main reasons are that they are justified in different ways, that Stanley’s and Williamson’s ideas have great difficulties to account for learning of technological knowing how through training, and thatknowing that is susceptible to Gettier problems, which technological knowing how is not.

  • 13.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Om jag skruvar med stämjärnet, är det en skruvmejsel då?2011In: Teknikutbildning för framtiden: Perspektiv på teknikundervisningen i grundskola och gymnasium / [ed] Hansson, Sven Ove; Nordlander, Edvard; Skogh, Inga-Britt, Stockkholm: Liber, 2011, p. 189-200Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 14.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Technological Experiments in Technology Education2015In: PATT 29: Plurality and complementarity of approaches in design and technology education / [ed] Marjolaine Chatoney, Aix-en-Provence: Service Imprimerie de l'université d'Aix-Marseille , 2015, p. 322-327Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In processes of engineering design and innovation, technological experiments are commonly conducted. The methods used are similar to those in the natural sciences, but the objectives are different. Technological experiments commonly deal with context-dependent problems related to function, rather than the uncovering or falsification of general laws. Furthermore, they often include value-laden concepts such as safety and ergonomics which are not part of the natural sciences. In school, experimentation is largely seen as part of the domain of the natural sciences, and the experimental parts of technological work gets little attention. This study is based on findings from a professional development course for teachers in years 7 to 9 in compulsory school in Sweden (pupils aged 13–16). In the course, the use of experiments in education was one of the major themes. The teachers who partook in the course generally found it difficult to formulate technological problems to be examined using experimental methods. During the course, they were to develop their own technology education experiments. These often turned out to be rather plain activities where the results, rather than the process were the important thing. In this paper, the results from the teachers’ actual attempts to design technological experiments and reasons for why experimentation should get a more prominent position in school are discussed. Experimental work is an essential part of research in engineering design and the technological sciences and should therefore be included in technology education, but without turning it into only applied natural science.

  • 15.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Technological know-how from rules of thumb2011In: Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, ISSN 1091-8264, E-ISSN 1091-8264, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 96-109Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Rules of thumb are simple instructions, used to guide actions toward a specific result, without need of advanced knowledge. Knowing adequate rules of thumb is a common form of technological knowledge. It differs both from science-based and intuitive (or tacit) technological knowledge, although it may have its origin in experience, scientific knowledge, trial and error, or a combination thereof. One of the major advantages of rules of thumb is the ease with which they can be learned. One of their major disadvantages is that they cannot easily be adjusted to new situations or conditions.

  • 16.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Technological knowledge and technology education2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Technological knowledge is of many different kinds, from experience-based know-how in the crafts to science-based knowledge in modern engineering. It is inherently oriented towards being useful in technological activities, such as manufacturing and engineering design.

    The purpose of this thesis is to highlight special characteristics of technological knowledge and how these affect how technology should be taught in school. It consists of an introduction, a summary in Swedish, and five papers:

    Paper I is about rules of thumb, which are simple instructions, used to guide actions toward a specific result, without need of advanced knowledge. One off the major advantages of rules of thumb is the ease with which they can be learnt. One of their major disadvantages is that they cannot easily be adjusted to new situations or conditions.

    Paper II describes how Gilbert Ryle's distinction between knowing how and knowing that is applicable in the technological domain. Knowing how and knowing that are commonly used together, but there are important differences between them which motivate why they should be regarded as different types: they are learnt in different ways, justified in different ways, and knowing that is susceptible to Gettier type problems which technological knowing how is not.

    Paper III is based on a survey about how Swedish technology teachers understand the concept of technological knowledge. Their opinions show an extensive variation, and they have no common terminology for describing the knowledge.

    Paper IV deals with non-scientific models that are commonly used by engineers, based on for example folk theories or obsolete science. These should be included in technology education if it is to resemble real technology. Different, and partly contradictory, epistemological frameworks must be used in different school subjects. This leads to major pedagogical challenges, but also to opportunities to clarify the differences between technology and the natural sciences and between models and reality.

    Paper V is about explanation, prediction, and the use of models in technology education. Explanations and models in technology differ from those in the natural sciences in that they have to include users' actions and intentions.

  • 17.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Technology education and non-scientific technological knowledge2011Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis consists of two essays and an introduction. The main theme is technological knowledge that is not based on the natural sciences.The first essay is about rules of thumb, which are simple instructions, used to guide actions toward a specific result, without need of advanced knowledge. Knowing adequate rules of thumb is a common form of technological knowledge. It differs both from science-based and intuitive (or tacit) technological knowledge, although it may have its origin in experience, scientific knowledge, trial and error, or a combination thereof. One of the major advantages of rules of thumb is the ease with which they can be learned. One of their major disadvantages is that they cannot easily be adjusted to new situations or conditions.

    Engineers commonly use rules, theories and models that lack scientific justification. How to include these in introductory technology education is the theme of the second essay. Examples include rules of thumb based on experience, but also models based on obsolete science or folk theories. Centrifugal forces, heat and cold as substances, and sucking vacuum all belong to the latter group. These models contradict scientific knowledge, but are useful for prediction in limited contexts where they are used when found convenient. The role of this kind of models in technology education is the theme of the second essay. Engineers’ work is a common prototype for pupils’ work with product development and systematic problem solving during technology lessons. Therefore pupils should be allowed to use the engineers’ non-scientific models when doing design work in school technology. The acceptance of these could be experienced as contradictory by the pupils: a model that is allowed, or even encouraged in technology class is considered wrong when doing science. To account for this, different epistemological frameworks must be used in science and technology education. Technology is first and foremost about usefulness, not about the truth or even generally applicable laws. This could cause pedagogical problems, but also provide useful examples to explain the limitations of models, the relation between model and reality, and the differences between science and technology.

  • 18.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Technology education and the epistemology of technology2011Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 19.
    Norström, Per
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Learning in Engineering Sciences.
    The Nature of Pre-University Engineering Education2016In: Pre-University Engineering Education / [ed] Marc J. de Vries, Lena Gumaelius, Inga-Britt Skogh, Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, 2016, 1, p. 27-46Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Engineering has been introduced as a subject area in schools all over the world during the last decades. The purpose and contents vary slightly, but are commonly based on an engineering design process – on methods for systematic problem solving and product development. Skills learnt during this work is thought to be transferable to everyday life, future careers, and other educational areas. Pre-university engineering education should also increase pupils’ interest in technology, science and/or mathematics. Engineering projects in school commonly deal with non-realistic problems, which lead to difficult challenges for teachers and pupils concerning the transfer of skills to contexts outside of school. Great hopes for engineering’s opportunities to improve pupils’ creativity, learning, initiative, collaboration, and autonomy are expressed in curricula, but no conclusive evidence for its effectiveness exists.

1 - 19 of 19
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