Exploring the future of technology education in China

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Exploring the future of technology education in China

 

Author: Feng, Weiwei
Title: Exploring the future of technology education in China
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2013
Subject: Technology -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- China
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Design
Pages: xviii, 254 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2639038
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7188
Abstract: More and more countries, including China, have taken technology education into the general education system as the key learning resource. Technology education has a rather short history when viewed from the perspective of the total history of education on the Chinese mainland. From informally to formally, technology education has developed over almost 60 years. Since the new technology curriculum was implemented, new secondary technology education has undergone approximately ten years of development. The technology curriculum is being experimented with in almost all provinces at present. A group of technology teachers is growing up among the new curriculum experiments. The technology curriculum is being expanded in the aspect of validated learning. However, how to maintain this good momentum for the technology curriculum is a key problem and concern. While these developments imply some success with the curriculum, many problems and challenges remain. It is necessary now to ask ourselves how to strengthen the technology curriculum in the general education system. This is the key research question in this study. The study is expected to alert the government and the public to the importance of technology education at secondary level. At the same time, it reveals some potential problems during the current curriculum reform on the Chinese mainland. However, through a survey conducted in different provinces, this study attempts to find the existing problems and provide recommendations and strategies to resolve the problems and issues appearing in the process of implementation. In theory, this study expects to establish a new perspective for the development of technology education. In practice, the study attempts to make suggestions and provide insights into how to solve the existing problems and meet the challenges. What this study actually does is to examine the current practice and then envisage the future. In this sense, this study plays a "guideline" role in the future of the development of technology education in the general education system.
The entire study was conducted through five major stages. Stage I is a general review of two major areas: (i) the current major issues and trends of technology education worldwide, and (ii) the development of technology education in China. Based on a review of these two areas, this study attempts to identify what has happened and what is happening in technology education in the world. In Stage II, questionnaires and interview questions were conducted in order to identify more practical issues so that the recommendations could be proposed. In Stage III, data were collected through face-to-face survey questionnaires and unstructured interview questions. Five versions of the questionnaires were designed to obtain feedback from key stakeholders, including education administrators, coordinators, school principals, technology teachers and senior secondary school students. In Stage IV, the analysis of a survey conducted in different provinces was carried out using a triangulation method, with closed-ended questionnaire responses as the basis, supported by open-ended interview questions and seminars. Stage V is the final stage of the study. Based on the findings from Stage IV, the final part responds to the research question of the study: how to strengthen the new technology curriculum in the general education system. Through the analysis of the collected data, common practice and effective experience in technology education have been summarized: (1) giving much attention to and overall planning an auxiliary system; (2) nurturing stable and professional technology teachers; (3) maximizing curriculum resources both online and offline; (4) designing and issuing local facility standards to guarantee workshop construction; (5) leveraging the leadership of academic research bodies; (6) implementing technical subjects in creative ways; and (7) brainstorming to develop a comprehensive curriculum evaluation system. Moreover, problems and obstacles have been found. It is concluded that the development of technology education needs the support of policy; faculty building needs sustainable teacher training; instruments and equipment depend on the full use of native resources; the establishment of the evaluation system needs to be based on Chinese traditional culture to promote the steady development of the curriculum. It is an arduous task to change education officials' ideas about education and eradicate their ignorance of technology education. To this end, five recommendations have been proposed: (1) exercising the power of policy to create a springboard for technical subjects; (2) establishing training mechanisms for technology teachers; (3) leveraging the leadership of school principals to facilitate curriculum development; (4) promoting academic research bodies as curriculum researchers, leaders and trainers; and (5) devising a fair and effective evaluation mechanism.

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