Technology for All? A History Teacher-Educator's View of the Introduction of Simple Solar Ovens in Lombok, Indonesia

Peter D'Sena
1999, Vol. 4, No. 1,


The Earthwatch Institute, an international conservation group, has recently been allocated funding by the Millennium Commission, to send 500 teachers on its projects. Peter D'Sena, a historian and teachereducator, joined the 'Indonesian Sun Cooking' team working with people in Lombok to make simple solar ovens. He knew that solar energy had to be a 'good thing', but traditional values, social structures and economic aspirations have not always given technology and conservation an easy ride. This report gives an account of the implementation of this technology in its socio-cultural context and, in doing so, intends to provide an insight into the potential benefits of 'eco-tourism' of this kind for primary and secondary school teachers.

Technological innovation and change is not always welcomed by everyone. Moreover, some societies have viewed the negative byproducts of industrial processes, such as pollution, occupational health risks and environmental degradation, as necessary evils. This, at least, is what the history of Britain in thel8th and 19th Centuries tell

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