|dc.description.abstract||Knowledge of expert practice is a key element of Technology Education (Ministry of Education, 2007), and this paper which is part of a larger study, is a brief comparative study which investigates the impact a learning experience outside the classroom has on two students’ technological practice. These students, Dana and Manahi, who are in their first year at school, visit a chocolate factory with their class to find out how to make a chocolate gift for Mothers’ Day.
This study uses a qualitative case study methodology (Stake, 2006). Data was collected and analysed from three interviews, before, after and six months after the students’ visit to the factory. The students’ 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 both Dana and Manahi’s context specific oral language, their understanding of the individual phases of technological development, and their ability to transfer these understandings to other contexts. Whilst these developments showed an encouraging improvement in their technological understandings, there existed a lack of continuity and connectedness (Moreland & Cowie, 2011) through the development of Manahi’s chocolate gift. Compared with progress achieved by Dana, the gaps in Manahi’s understandings impacted negatively on his perceptions of the purpose of the visit and the final goal of his practice.||