Opposed of concepts, as well as principles and

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Last updated: December 23, 2019

Opposed to knowledge which isgenerally accepted as being externally verifiable, beliefs are essentially subjectiveclaims one accepts as being true (Pajares, 1992).

This presents significantdifficulties for the valid and reliable study of teachers’ beliefs. Further tothis, teachers’ beliefs have been defined in various ways by researchersplacing different emphasis on characteristics and functions (Fives & Buehl, 2012). It is therefore importantreiterate the position of this research from the adopted model. The conceptionof capability approach herein advocates a common understanding of the goals ofthe discipline between teachers, through alignment with the variable nature ofactivity in D&T education (c.f.

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Kimbell,2011; Williams, 2009), this therefore facilitates teacher’s (andstudent’s) adoption of a multiplicity of approaches to achieving these goals.From this, the importance of identifying the goals of the discipline at aconceptual level emerges. To this end, there have been efforts to depict boththe goals of ‘Technology Education’ amongst board members of the InternationalTechnology Education Association (ITEA; Ritz, 2009), and to depict theoverarching concepts in the discipline of K-12 ‘Engineering TechnologyEducation’ (Rossouw, Hacker, & de Vries, 2011) from the perspective ofmembers of the international research community. Both of these studies aimed toarticulate the specific content that is of importance to student learning inthe discipline through modified Delphi approaches. The approach taken by Rossouw, Hacker, and de Vries (2011) is perhaps of more use fromthe perspective of this research however, as the authors acknowledge theconcept-context relationship in the discipline and identify the conceptsindependent of a particular context. And although theory on situated cognitionclaims that concepts in part coloured by contexts and thereforecontext-dependant to a certain degree (Hennessy, 1993), D&T education as adiscipline is predicated on its transferability of concepts, as well asprinciples and skills across contextual boundaries. It is the freedom affordedto teacher’s that provides and additional degree of complexity for capturingconceptions of capability in D education.

As the nature of activity inD is predicated on the freedom afforded to teachers and students alike,using a method which suggests elements of capability, such as a Likert typescale or multiple choice questionnaires, may restrict teachers’ conceptions towhat is presented in on the scale or questionnaire. It is therefore theorisedthat an approach to capturing D&T teachers’ conception of capability shouldrather adopt a grounded theory approach where individual teachers’ conceptionsare explicated by the teacher. 

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