Research in Technology Education

topic cloud

Title words from articles in the International Journal of Technology & Design Education over the last five years.

Research in Technology Education is a relatively new filed on inquiry – partly due to the fact that the curricular subject area itself is comparatively new.  Whilst this means that there is lots of exciting work still to be done, it is prudent also to note that there have been a large number of very high quality and well-considered contributions to date.  Every so often, researchers will summarise these contributions, the shape of the landscape and map out the directions and interests that are evidenced in what people write about.

Such exercises in grasping a snap shot of the bigger picture can be revealing but, as noted by Prof John Williams during a key note in Hong Kong early this year, notoriously challenging if you wish to predict where things will go next! Back in 1994, Karen F Zuga published a review of 220 papers that identified a range of themes including subject status, curricular development and change, teacher education, instructional design, problem solving, integration of technology with other subjects and attitudes towards the subject.  Arguably, just over two decades later, many of these areas still seem relevant in the face of today’s changing curricula.  A recently published book entitled: ‘The Future of Technology Education’ (Williams et al, 2015), offers a contemporary comprehensive insight into the work in the field and makes several attempts at pointing out remaining areas of challenge.

Cover(View this text in

The book draws upon a range of international perspectives and concludes that there is work still to be done in areas that, in some ways, could be seen as reflective of some of the areas of interest identified back in 1994.  Williams et al, argue that these include: the link between research and practice, the potential challenges of the STEM agenda for Technology, the use of modern media and communication technologies, the epistemic basis and identity of the subject and the increased role of the teacher in carrying out subject specific research.  I would very much recommend this text to anyone with an interest in the field of Technology Education.

Accessing research in Technology Education…



In the spirit of accessing research that relates to Technology Education, I have compiled a list of journals that publish articles relevant to the field.  Many of these are open access and those that are not by default, will offer a number of their articles on an open access basis anyway.  As such, they are worth checking out.

Article References:

Williams, J., P., Jones, A. and Buntting, C. (2015). The Future of Technology Education. Singapore: Springer. [online]. Available from:

Williams, J. P. (January, 2015). Research in Technology Education: Recent Developments and Future Trends. Keynote Speech. 11th International Conference on Technology Education for the Asia-Pacific Region. Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.

Zuga, K., F. (1994). Implementing Technology Education: A Review and Synthesis of the Research Literature. Washington DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, Ohio. Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED).



About dmorrisonlove

I am a lecturer and researcher in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. I am a member of the Curriculum, Assessment & Pedagogy Research Group and I am interested in the learning and teaching within Technology & STEM subjects in secondary schools. I have a keen interest in studying learning within and across different contexts, how children develop technological understanding and capability and better understanding how they learn and problem solve through interaction with physical materials and objects. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the International Technology and Engineering Education Association. I also sit on the National Technologies Forum for Scotland. I am very keen to hear from anyone who shares interests in similar areas.
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