Pupils' Attitudes Towards Technology (21-25 Jun, 2007, Glasgow)

[2007.04.24 update. I just put together a site for the conference] PATT - 18 Pupils’ Attitudes Towards Technology International Design & Technology Education Conference

Call for Papers

Teaching and Learning Technological Literacy in the Classroom

21 – 25 June 2007

Keynote speakers: Don Idhe: Stony Brook University , New York Douglas Kellner : University of California, Los Angeles Richard Kahn: University of California, Los Angeles Carl Mitcham: Colorado School of Mines Andrew Feenberg: Simon Fraser University, Canada Leonard Waks: Temple University, Philadelphia Joseph Pitt: Virginia Tech, Michael Peters: University of Illinois Marc J de Vries: Technishe University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands John Dakers: University of Glasgow, Scotland


As conference director for the next international PATT conference to be held in Glasgow next year, I am delighted to be able to confirm that some of the greatest names in the philosophy and sociology of technology have agreed to take part in the conference. They have all (along with others who will attend the conference) recently been published in a book called “Defining Technological Literacy”. This title forms the basis of the conference theme. I will put more information on a web site devoted to the conference when I have it up and running. It will also be of interest to participants, particularly from overseas, that this conference takes place just prior to the CRIPT conference, which in turn, takes place just before the DATA conference. This makes it possible for delegates to attend all three conferences, or any combination, should they wish. (I know that several delegates did attend all three in 2003.

The conference

There is very little literature directly relating to education about the basic technological nature of the world that young people must negotiate nor about the kinds of technological obstacles that they are likely to encounter in that world. Their views of technology influence their ability to both use and relate to it. Many young people have a tendency to perceive technology in terms of its artefacts: computers, cars, televisions, toasters, pesticides, flu shots, solar cells, genetically engineered tomatoes and so on. Often they do not see technology in terms of the knowledge and processes that create these artefacts, nor are they aware of the various implications for society resulting from these technologies.

There is a tendency in the teaching of Technology education at school level, to present information about some pre-existing technologies in an instrumental form. Pupils are then expected to reconstitute this information in the form of concrete artefacts. We do not sufficiently engender in young people an abiding curiosity about how the technologically shaped world in which they live actually affects them.

Within the various rationales for Technology education from across the developed world, an abiding and recurring issue is evident: Technology education must engage with the development of informed attitudes about the impact that existing and emerging technologies will have upon their cultural development, as well as the potential and actual consequences these technologies will have upon the environment, both locally and globally. This is known variously as ‘Technological Literacy’ or ‘Technological Capability’.

The conference organising committee invites papers that address aspects of teaching and learning in technology education concerned with methods of teaching and learning technological literacy in the classroom. Papers addressing the conference theme are particularly welcome, but authors are invited to submit research papers addressing any topic relevant to technology education.

Delegates will come from a wide range of technology education stakeholders – philosophers of technology, teacher educators, teachers, researchers, post-graduate students, policy makers, curriculum developers, consultants, and members of the broader educational community.

All papers accepted for the conference will be double blind peer reviewed prior to the conference. All papers accepted for presentation will be published electronically and also in a conference book which will be available at the conference. Authors of selected papers will be invited to work their papers up into chapters for submission in a book, to be published by Sense Publishers in 2007, based upon the conference theme. The URL for the Technology Book Series is: http://www.sensepublishers.com/books/ites/ites.htm#ITES%20series%20info

The conference will have two parts. The first two days will be devoted to the Keynote speakers mentioned above who will talk to their chapters in the recently published book “Defining Technological Literacy: Towards an Epistemological Framework”, available at: http://www.palgrave-usa.com/Search/SearchResults.aspx?searchby=searchby&Qk=dakers&submit.x=0&submit.y=0&submit=submit

The second part, taking up in the last three days, will concentrate upon the delivery of the accepted conference papers. It is proposed to set up a web site for this conference which will continue to update conference data. Details will follow in the near future. The conference language will be English.

For further information about the conference please do not hesitate to contact the Conference Director, John Dakers at jdakers [AT] educ.gla.ac.uk

Please e-mail completed papers, which should be in the region of 2,500 – 3,000 words to John Dakers at the above no later than the 30th November 2006.