Investigating the factor structure of pupils attitudes towards technology.
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As STEM education becomes the focus of educational reforms in knowledge based economies, technological literacy is seen as a key outcome of many STEM related programmes. When considering technological literacy it is vital that educators are cognisant of the attitudinal dimension. This is especially true when developing a programme of Initial Technology Teacher Education (ITTE) as efforts aimed at developing technological literacy of future teachers have the potential to achieve exponential impacts throughout the career of technology educators. Students of technology teacher education are in a period of attitudinal malleability due to the paradigm shift from being a pupil to an educator. Coupled with their attitudinal disposition being of paramount importance within their oncoming professions, there is a pedagogical need to monitor their perceptions of technology education throughout their degree programme. This paper presents the initial phase in an envisioned longitudinal study to design a comprehensive tool with the capacity to elicit such perceptions across the broad spectrum of factors which constitute to technology education, with the focus of this particular phase being on attitudes towards technology. The Pupil’s Attitudes Toward Technology (PATT) tool was adapted for use in an ITTE degree programme. The instrument was administered to a cohort (N=124) of student teachers in the first and last week of their first semester within the programme. Within this semester, students complete modules relating to educational theory, design, graphical communication, and manufacturing technology. The results of this study identify a five factor model as the model of best fit. Further interpretation of the factors within this model suggests similar factors to those which emerged from previous studies. This study has generated significant insight into ITTE students’ attitudes towards technology, however due to its pilot nature further work is needed to draw definitive results.
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