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Defining and Measuring Technical Thinking: Students’ Technical Abilities in Finnish Comprehensive Schools

Authors:

Ossi Autio ,

University of Helsinki, FI
About Ossi

A Lecturer in Technology Education at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

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Ron Hansen

University of Western Ontario, CA
About Ron

A Professor at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

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Abstract

The terms “technical” and “technology” are widely used by educators, workplace practitioners, and the general public. Seldom, however, is there a written explanation of a technologist’s or technician’s attributes (Hansen, 1994; Ropohl, 1997). What do technicians know and do? Also absent from public consciousness is a sense of what constitutes the design or problem-solving process which precedes any technological act. By comparison, media depictions of technology as computers, electronics, and tools are widespread and the public appetite for these depictions is extensive. In teacher education and in schooling itself the subject through which technical skills and knowledge are imparted suffers from confusion about definition as well. What is technical thinking? What is technical aptitude? Why is it that technology teachers can recognize this ability when it is observed in students but they, and educators generally, have difficulty documenting the essence of it in writing?
How to Cite: Autio, O., & Hansen, R. (2011). Defining and Measuring Technical Thinking: Students’ Technical Abilities in Finnish Comprehensive Schools. Journal of Technology Education, 14(1), 5–19. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jte.v14i1.a.1
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Published on 22 Sep 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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