Technology education for sustainable futures

Margarita Margarita Pavlova
2006, Vol. 11, No. 2,

Abstract


The article develops the argument that
Technology Education has a particular and
important role in achieving sustainable futures
within different societies. The starting point for
this article is an observation of two boys
making toys out of materials that would
normally be thrown away. Implicitly these
activities contribute towards sustainable futures
through utilizing waste and using fewer
resources. However, how these activities can
be transformed into classroom activities, so
they would be the part of education for
sustainability learning and contribute more to
sustainable development, and how they would
be different for different contexts are the
questions addressed in this paper.
Activity theory, and the model of an activity
system, developed by Engestrom (1987) are
used to analyse the differences in unstructured
and structured activities of the children involved
in the creation of toys and the conclusion is
made that the differences are related to almost
all components of the activity model. Then, the
comparison is made between structured
activities within different contexts. The
conclusion is drawn that the main difference is
concerned with the object of activity.
The case study of Russia is used to analyse the
specificity of a particular context (Nizhny
Novgorod region) and to identify the object of
activity relevant to technology education
classroom within this region. The conclusion is
made that a theoretical analysis on the basis of
activity theory and a case study approach
demonstrate that Education for Sustainability
(ES) can be effectively addressed via
technology education. However, it is necessary
to pay particular attention to the object of
students’ activity, so it would be relevant to the
particular context.
Key words
Technology education, education for
sustainability, cross-cultural comparison,
Russian concepts and practice of sustainable
development and education for sustainable
development.

Keywords


Technology education ; Education for sustainability ; Cross-cultural comparison ; Russian concepts and practice of sustainable development ; Education for sustainable development

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