Manahi’s red chocolate sunglasses: the impact of a learning experience outside the classroom on a five-year-old student’s technological practice
Milne, L. (2015). Manahi’s red chocolate sunglasses: the impact of a learning experience outside the classroom on a five-year-old student’s technological practice. In M. Chatoney (Ed.), Plurality and Complementarity of Approaches in Design and Technology Education (pp. 287–292). Marseilles, France.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/11413
Knowledge of expert practice is a key element of Technology Education, and this paper which is part of a larger study, investigates the impact a learning experience outside the classroom has on one student’s technological practice. This student, who is in his first year at school, visits a chocolate factory with his class to find out how to make a chocolate gift for Mothers’ Day. This study uses a qualitative case study methodology (Stake, 2006). Data were collected and analysed from three interviews, before, after, and six months after the visit to the factory. The student’s drawings and stories recorded after the visit were also analysed using themes emerging from the literature of Education Outside the Classroom (Anderson, 2003; Falk, 2004), Technology Education (Compton, 2009; de Vries, 2012; Jones, Buntting, & de Vries, 2013) and the characteristics of young students’ learning (Cohen, 2013; Siegler & Alibali, 2005). The findings from this study identify a significant increase in the student’s context specific oral language, his understanding of the individual phases of technological development, and an ability to transfer these understandings to other contexts including those presented six months after the visit. Whilst these developments showed an encouraging improvement in Manahi’s technological understandings, there existed a lack of continuity and connectedness (Moreland & Cowie, 2011) through the development of his chocolate gift. This impacted negatively on his perceptions of the purpose of the visit and the final goal of his practice.
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