The motivations and perceptions of practicing teachers undertaking technology education research: a work in progress report from an exploratory case study
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Technology education (TE) is a transient area of study. Few other subject areas require such levels of up-skilling similar to that of technology teachers in order for them to stay current and aligned with the developments of technology subject matter. The subject area has undergone a significant shift, from a predominantly vocational, skills or craft based area of study to one that is now concerned with key transferable skills and knowledge. Traditionally, the subject area has served as a utilitarian means of developing practical and vocational skills. More recently, technology education research has become an evolving and expanding field, exploring the intricacies of the subject area and highlighting the significance of discipline specific competences of technological capability and literacy. These research endeavours have aided in the relatively slow moving establishment of the subject area as a key contributor to the general education of national second level curricula. Looking to the future; these endeavours to research the critical trends and practices of TE need to continue, where key stakeholders of the subject area engage in undertaking or contributing towards research to further develop the subject area and the perceived values of technology education in our schools. This paper presents the early stages of a work in progress exploratory study that looks to practicing technology teachers (n=5) who are currently engaged in technology education research for their positional insights, motivations and perceptions. The aim of the study is to inform research agendas from a practice perspective that will constructively impact the provision of technology education.
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