International curriculum handbook to enhance teaching of technology education

LJMU’s Dr Matt McLain, a Senior Lecturer in Education and Professional Learning in the School of Education has co-edited the Bloomsbury Handbook of Technology Education, a forward thinking new text that brings together international perspectives to enhance teaching at primary and secondary level.

Through carefully commissioned chapters, the handbook’s leading authors explore the fundamentals of technology education, curriculum, and pedagogy. Chapters discuss technology education as it can be experienced by children and young people, inside and outside of the classroom, across the world, as well as the importance of technology and the history and philosophical origins of technology education.

Dr McLain explains: “The book itself has 30 chapters, by 36 contributors, from 28 institutions, in 14 countries over 5 continents; and focuses on the teaching of technology education in primary and secondary schools, such as design and technology in the National Curriculum for England.

“Whilst we have a number of well-established researchers contributing to this scholarly work, we set out with the emerging and next generation in mind, trying to create a carefully curated collection of position pieces rather than a library of disparate articles about niche research interests. But neither is it a lightweight ‘tips for teachers’ or simply a guide for beginning teachers.

“The handbook is presented in four parts. The first conceptualising technology education from various national perspectives. The second explores themes relating to the technology education curriculum, including the role of thinking and doing. The third, which I was section editor for, focuses on pedagogical approaches and perspectives, such as design and play-based learning. And the final section, focuses on technology education from wider societal perspectives.”

The handbook is aimed a pre-service and in-service teachers, teacher educators in universities and schools, and educational researchers, including PGRs.

The handbook is part of Bloomsbury’s international curriculum handbook series and can be accessed online by LJMU staff and students for free on Bloomsbury Collections, via their LJMU institutional login.

The book will also be published in print and as an e-book on Thursday 18 May and is on the list to be ordered by the LJMU’s Library Service.

About Dr Matt McLain

Matt is an experienced teacher educator, having previously taught design and technology (D&T) in two Merseyside secondary schools. He is passionate about learning, in particular pedagogy, didactics, design thinking and technological activity. As an academic, Matt has experience in educational leadership and management, as well as working as a senior lecturer, educating the next generation of teachers, as excellent practitioners, valuing social inclusion, collaboration, leadership and research.

Matt is also an active member and Trustee of the D&T Association. As a curriculum influencer, he was involved with the redrafting of the National Curriculum (2014), advising on non-statutory guidance for the DfE’s D&T Expert Group for the new programmes of study and on the future of the subject. He has also advised on and contributed to the development of the 2017 GCSE and A/AS Level Subject Criteria for design and technology as a drafter for the DfE.

Matt is research active and complete his PhD by Published Work in December 2022, which focused on demonstration as a signature pedagogy in D&T. His other professional and research interests include subject knowledge development, curriculum design and philosophy of technology. He has recently been using research methods, including Q Methodology in his research, adopting a philosophical perspective influenced by Pragmatism and Cultural Historical Activity Theory.


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