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The Problem in Technology Education (A Definite Article)


Jim Flowers

Ball State University, US
About Jim

A Professor and Director of Online Education in the Department of Technology at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.

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While it is not unique to technology education, this field has a the problem. We sometimes inappropriately use the definite article to falsely imply uniqueness. At other times, listeners or readers may incorrectly infer uniqueness because we have used the even when we did not mean to imply uniqueness. At first, definite article usage may seem a silly, petty, and empty concern: surely there are bigger and more important issues for our attention. Actually, inappropriately communicating uniqueness with the is better classified as a symptom than a problem; an underlying problem here is our understanding. Our language choices can communicate an inaccurately narrow connotation. Where this is unintentional, greater awareness of language use specifically attending to this problem may be a solution. Technology education seems to be a profession that has embraced dogma. There is a creed stating “this we believe...” from a premier association (ITEA, n.d.). Why is there such a need to believe? Why do we have difficulty deferring judgment and admitting alternatives? Can we overcome the appeal of comfort brought by satiating our need to believe?
How to Cite: Flowers, J. (2010). The Problem in Technology Education (A Definite Article). Journal of Technology Education, 21(2), 10–20. DOI:
Published on 22 May 2010.
Peer Reviewed


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