COOPER, A., 1990. Is it useful technology education?. DATER 1990 Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University
This article raises a number of fundamental questions in relation to the nature of technology education
which I hope may be of value to your thinking during this conference.
I would like to begin by establishing criteria for deciding the nature of technology education and in
particular Design and Technology. The Order for technology (1) provides a detailed specification for
the subject but rather than attempt to restate the whole document I will pinpoint some key features and
use these to illustrate possible implications.
"Technology is a new subject, which requires pupils to apply knowledge and skills to solve
"Technology is a subject concerned with practical action, drawing on knowledge and
understanding from a wide range of subjects."
These phrases taken from the opening section of the non-statutory guidance emphasise the practical
problem solving nature of the subject and recognise the potential breadth of technology activity. But
how will these phrases translate into classroom action and what value will the resulting activities be to