Technology – the application of knowledge and skills to extend human capabilities and to help satisfy human needs and wants – has had profound effects on society.
Scotland has a strong tradition of excellence and innovation in technological research. This is especially true in areas such as engineering, electronics, optoelectronics, biomedical research, genomics and cell engineering. Scotland’s people need to be skilled in technologies and to be aware of the impact of technologies on society and the environment, now and in the future. Learning in the technologies provides a strong foundation for the development of skills and knowledge which are, and will continue to be, essential in maintaining Scotland’s economic prosperity.
Within Curriculum for Excellence, the technologies curriculum area relates particularly to contexts that provide scope for developing technological skills, knowledge, understanding and attributes through creative, practical and work-related activities. For this reason, the framework provides experiences and outcomes which can be applied in business, computing science, food, textiles, craft, design, engineering, graphics and applied technologies. These experiences and outcomes offer a rich context for the development of all of the four capacities and for developing the life skills that are recognised as being important for success in the world of work. They also offer an excellent platform for a range of technology-related careers.
The technologies framework offers challenging activities which involve research, problem solving, exploration of new and unfamiliar concepts, skills and materials, and the rewarding learning which often results from creating products which have real applications. It provides progression in cognitive skills. Children and young people will develop their creativity and entrepreneurial skills and be encouraged to become innovative and critical designers of the future. These attributes are essential if, in the future, our children and young people are to play a major part in the global economy and embrace technological developments in the 21st century.
What are the main purposes of learning in the technologies?
Learning in the technologies enables children and young people to be informed, skilled, thoughtful, adaptable and enterprising citizens, and to:
- develop understanding of the role and impact of technologies in changing and influencing societies
- contribute to building a better world by taking responsible ethical actions to improve their lives, the lives of others and the environment
- gain the skills and confidence to embrace and use technologies now and in the future, at home, at work and in the wider community
- become informed consumers and producers who have an appreciation of the merits and impacts of products and services
- be capable of making reasoned choices relating to the environment, to sustainable development and to ethical, economic and cultural issues
- broaden their understanding of the role that information and communications technology (ICT) has in Scotland and in the global community
- broaden their understanding of the applications and concepts behind technological thinking, including the nature of engineering and the links between the technologies and the sciences
- experience work-related learning, establish firm foundations for lifelong learning and, for some, for specialised study and a diverse range of careers.