Perceptions of technology and technology education in Fiji and the Solomon Islands: implications for a technology education curriculum
Liligeto, A. G. (2001). Perceptions of technology and technology education in Fiji and the Solomon Islands: implications for a technology education curriculum (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14383
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14383
This study is about students’ and educators’ perceptions of technical education, technology, technology education and traditional technology in Fiji and the Solomon Islands. Perceptions are the mental representation of external objects and events based on stimulation from the human organ. People’s perceptions can tell us something about their past and present experiences which collectively influence the future. Previous research work have shown that teachers’ perceptions can influence the way they view their subjects and their beliefs about the learning process. These perceptions in turn influence the development and implementation of the curriculum. Students’ perceptions are an integral part of the learning process and need to be understood in any curriculum development process. An understanding all these perceptions will assist in developing a curriculum that is better suited to the needs and aspirations of those involved in technology education. In this research the reason for obtaining perceptions was to establish a framework guide for curriculum development in technology education. This historical origin of the education system in Fiji and the Solomon Islands are important factors influencing both individuals’ perceptions of technology education and curriculum development generally. To better understand the influence this study looked at the historical development of the education system from colonial era to date, how technical education became a part of general education and the important role traditional technology plays in people’s daily lives. The review revealed that the various churches influenced both the education system from the beginning and the introduction of the technical education into the school system. This research is interpretive in nature and is both qualitative and quantitative. The method used to collect data was a face-to-face interview. Each interview took approximately 30 minutes and there were 160 participants (60 educators and 100 students) from eight schools. The field research work was conducted at Fiji and the Solomon Islands in 1997 and 1998. The study revealed that the existing technical education curriculum, when compared with other school curriculum, is viewed as important and useful but in need of improvement and revision. Views on technology vary, but it is generally perceived as an artefact and a recent phenomenon which involves improved efficiency. Technology education was viewed as learning about those aspects seen as technology and, traditional technology was viewed as useful artefacts and knowledge passed down from ancestors. Students’ and educators’ perceptions of technical education, technology, technology education and traditional technology were similar in many respect but differ in emphasis, level and priority. This research proposes a new approach to curriculum development as in the past curriculum development has been solely based on the adoption of foreign curriculum. By obtaining students’ and educators’ perceptions, this research has given students and teachers (educators) an opportunity to voice and raise issues affecting learning and curriculum development. In adopting this new approach hopefully a better technology education curriculum programme can be developed which is relevant and suited to the needs of the people of Fiji, the Solomon Islands and the South Pacific Islands Countries. This study is significant because students’ and educators’ perceptions will have been considered and incorporated into the curriculum development process.
The University of Waikato
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