Measuring pupil's knowledge and understanding of technology : a methodological study

Goldstone, Margo (2002-3)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Technological literacy is a competency that is widely espoused both locally and internationally (UNESCO, 1984; TAAP, 1991). Technological literacy has been described as a multi-dimensional construct consisting of a knowledge, skills and an affective component. This study investigated learner performance in the cognitive domain. Intact classes of Foundation (Grade 3), Intermediate (Grade 6) and Senior phase (Grade 9) learners from 12 Western Cape schools participated in a standardised paper-and-pencil assessment, the Pupil's Understanding of Technology (PUT) test. The study attempted to measure the effect of two variables - geographic location and gender, on learner knowledge and understanding of technology. The main substantive findings to emerge are firstly that geographic location is significantly related to performance in specific content areas of technology. Secondly, gender appears to be less significant in determining learner knowledge of technology on most questions. Furthermore, the level of knowledge of technology appears to correspond with phase or developmental level, thus supporting the conception of technological knowledge as a subset of general achievement. In addition, this study describes various methodological limitations pertaining to the PUT format and content. The main methodological limitations to an assessment of learner knowledge and understanding of technology using the PUT instrument relates to the nature of technological knowledge, and the understanding that technological literacy is a complex, multi-dimensional and activity-based subject. The study further highlights the need for an interrogation of the monolithic categories of 'geographic location' and 'socio-economic' category.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tegnologiese geletterdheid is 'n vaardigheid wat beide nasionaal en internasionaal voorgestaan word (UNESCO, 1984; TAAP, 1991). Tegnologiese geletterheid is al beskryf as 'n multi-dimensionele konstruk wat bestaan uit 'n kennis, vaardigheid en emosionele komponent. Die studie ondersoek die leerder se prestasie in die kognitiewe gebied. Volledige groepe van Grondslag (Graad 3), Intermediêre (Graad 6) en Senior fase (Graad 9) leerders van 12 skole in die Wes-Kaap het deelgeneem aan 'n gestandardiseerde pen-en-papier evaluering, die Leerling se Begrip van Tegnologie (Pupil's Understanding of Technology - PUT) toets. Die studie poog om die eftek van twee veranderlikes, geografiese ligging en geslag, op die leerder se kennis en begrip van tegnologie te meet. Die belangrikste substantiewe bevindinge is eerstens dat geografiese ligging beduidend korreleer met prestasie in spesifieke inhoudelike areas van tegnologie. Tweedens blyk dit dat geslag 'n minder belangrike invloed toon in die bepaling van die leerder se kennis van tegnologie in die meeste vrae. Verder blyk dit dat die vlak van kennis van tegnologie ooreenstem met die fase of ontwikkelingsvlak. Dit ondersteun die konsepsie van tegnologiese kennis as 'n onderafdeling van algemene prestasie. Hierdie studie beskryf ook verder die verskeie metodologiese beperkinge wat betrekking het op die PUT uitleg en inhoud. Die belangrikste metodologiese beperkinge vir die evaluering van leerderkennis en begrip van tegnologie met die PUT verwys na die aard van tegnologiese kennis, en die opvatting dat tegnologiese geletterdheid 'n komplekse, multi-dimensionele en aktiwiteitsgebaseerde onderwerp is. Dit blyk ook verder uit die studie dat daar 'n behoefte is aan 'n ondersoek na die monolitiese kategorieë van 'geografiese ligging' en 'sosio-ekonomiese' afdeling.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52930
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