Technology Studies Herald the Future

By Brian Hallewell

Technology studies herald the future .... and play a key role in contemporary education. Brian Hallewell, Dean of Studies at The Southport School reviews its context within Queensland education.

In the 1980's when 'technology' was mentioned in a curriculum context, most educators tended to think in terms of computers, though a few more adventurous teachers were beginning to broaden their understanding of the term. From the mid 1980's to 1991, the Queensland days of P-10, technology tended to be lwnped in with studies about personal growth, vocational skills, living skills and recreation.

With the advent of the Wiltshire Report and the 'Shaping the Future' document, it found its own place in the Queensland curriculum as one of the eight Key Learning Areas: English, Mathematics, Science, Studies of Society and the Environment, the Arts, Health and Physical Education, Languages other than English and Technology. All of these are meant to be compulsory from Years 1 to 8, with encouragement to retain them for as long as possible until Year 10.

Technology can be taught through a variety of learning experiences which are devised to teach students about designing, making, ap praising, materials, information and systems. It has been described as a 'minds-on hands-on' experience in a student-centred, teacher managed and facilitated, action based curriculum -a most dynamic and potentially exciting experience for student and teacher alike! The toughest challenge to schools from technology is that of keeping pace with the nature and its rate of change, and also what it offers to the people involved.

The Southport School has focused on remaining at the cutting edge of developments and many resources -personnel, financial, physical and time -have been expended over the last decade in an effort to ensure that students have access to the best technology curriculum supported by the best hardware and software available. In recent times this means that two new subjects: Engineering Technology and Control Technology, are offered to Year 7 (final year at Preparatory level) and Year 8.

We passed the technological point of no return in education long ago but we are continuing to tage of its diverse opportunities. If events continue as they have in recent years, all that we can be sure of is that no sooner will we have begun to master the technology of the here-and-now than there will be another generation of it ready to challenge. What we must never lose sight of however, is that technology must be the servant of the curriculum and the learner, and not vice versa. [T.E.P. = Technology Enhancement Project]

The Southport School: Technology Flow Chart

Brian Hallewell

Dean of Studies

The Southport School