On Young People’s Experience of Systems in Technology

Maria Svensson, Ann Zetterqvist, Åke Ingerman
2012, Vol. 17, No. 1,


Immersed in a technologically complex world, young
people make sense of a multi-faceted set of events in
everyday life. This article investigates the variation in how
Swedish young people experience technological systems
and is based on interviews focusing three systems
concerning transport, energy and communication –
contextualised in relation to bananas, electricity, and mobile
phones. A phenomenographic analysis results in five
qualitatively distinct categories, describing different ways of
understanding technological systems: Using single
components, Using the system output, Influencing the
system, Interacting with the system, and Integrating the
system. The results support that different ways of
understanding technological systems implies different ways
of understanding the complex nature of technology. The
results also point to possible ways of developing teaching
for technological citizenship.


technological system, technology education, phenomenography, citizenship

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