Developing a descriptive-analytical approach to analysing technology learning materials and its implementation in analysing the Israeli Junior High School Programme.
Three technology curricula were published in Israel in the last decade, replacing the
crafts curricula that had been implemented for approximately twenty years in
Israel's elementary and junior high schools.
The curricula for technology studies, too, were replaced in stages following the
publication of the "Report of the Superior Committee for Scientific and
Technological Education" (1992), which recommended the development of
integrated science and technology curricula. According to the new integrated
syllabus for science and technology in the junior high schools, Israel has begun to
produce new curricular materials in two academic centers, involving hitherto
The primary goal of this work is to develop a scheme for the analysis of technology
learning materials to be used to determine whether the resulting materials address
all aspects of the technology area of knowledge. Analysis of learning materials
assists educators in making considered choices between the variety of existing
materials, and thus contributes to the efficient implementation of the chosen
curriculum. Analysis of learning materials may also improve the processes of
planning and producing new materials by exposing the deficiencies of existing
The analysis scheme presented in this work is based on four basic factors in the
education situation: subject matter, learner, milieu, and teacher. The scheme is
not to be viewed as a normative measurement tool. The scheme is analytical and
not judgmental. A scheme for the analysis of learning materials for science
(specifically, biology) served as a model for development of the scheme presented
herein. The scheme is intended for the use of both teachers and experts.
Consequently, it is comprehensive and includes an explanation of the concepts,
and analysts require guidance prior of its implementation. This study employed the
qualitative research methodology, mainly documentation analysis and content
The subject area of technology is undergoing process of conceptual consolidation
and a search for a common denominator for all technological and engineering
specialisations. There are currently numerous definitions that attempt to answer
the question, what is technology? The central concepts of technology are unclear
and consequently there are many approaches to technology education. (This work
surveys twenty of the different approaches that are discussed in the professional
In the early stages of developing the 'subject matter' dimension of the analysis
scheme, it became apparent that a conceptual infrastructure must first be
established in order to clarify the "central areas of knowledge in technology"
("substantive structures") and the methodologies and methods used in technology
problem solving ("syntactic structures"). The analysis scheme could not be
completed without these conceptual frameworks.
With the integration of technology instruction and other subjects, and the sciences
in particular (the STS approach), technology has often been treated as a "mind-on"
rather than a "hands on" subject. As a result, a gap has been created between real
technology and school technology. In order to address this problem, an appendix
to the analysis scheme has been developed, which details examples of "minds on"
and "hands on" activities for the central areas of knowledge in technology.
The analysis has been applied to the subject matter dimension of two units of study
and has shown itself to be a powerful analytical tool for comparative analysis as