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Design and Technology

In the Technology and Enterprise learning area, it is necessary for students to communicate design ideas and develop instructions of implementation using language which is both detailed to do so efficiently and yet simple to ensure broad acceptance.

Outcomes

The outcomes prescribed for the Technology and Enterprise learning area are both directly and indirectly linked to the Overarching Outcomes in a variety of ways.

The technology process of design requires students to select and apply spatial and numerical concepts and techniques, whilst using the technologies for handling information, such as computers, to locate, obtain, evaluate, manipulate, publish and share information. A major focus of the Technology and Enterprise learning area is that of students making use of technologies, both individually and collaboratively, and developing technologies by adaptation. By gaining familiarity with and competence in the use of a range of technologies, students are able to make decisions about when to use a technology to meet a human need. In making decisions about technology, students consider logical and physical patterns, structures and relationships in the creation of their own designs.

Technology and Enterprise provides opportunities for students to develop enterprising behaviours and understandings that will allow them to recognise opportunities, and through the application of elements of the technology process, realise the potential of those opportunities. Understanding and appreciating the technological, social and cultural world, and employing skills to make decisions about the development and use of technologies is fundamental to the Technology and Enterprise learning area.

The development of communication technologies has led to the concept of a global community, to which students actively contribute in the process of designing and developing solutions to problems. In the process, students engage in creative activity and build on the intellectual work of others.

Students live in a society characterised by new and changing technologies. Understanding them and developing expertise in selecting, using, creating and adapting them safely and carefully assists students to make informed decisions, have a positive self-image, and remain safe and healthy. Students also understand that individuals and communities have different attitudes towards particular technologies, and respect the right of others to have attitudes different from their own. When using, developing or adapting technology, students take appropriate precautions to ensure that they, others and the environment remain safe and healthy.

Early adolescence

Students at this stage appreciate the factors that determine technological development such as social attitudes, research and development, controls and regulations. They critically assess many aspects of their technological world, understand the effects of actions on others and develop reasoned arguments related to ethical and practical issues, such as cloning. They are objectively critical of their work and make comparisons with similar commercial products.

Students’ approaches to Technology and Enterprise are more diverse than in previous phases, as their interests and knowledge of their future lives, including potential career choices, are expanding. Students will increasingly specialise in particular contexts, including agriculture, business, computing, design and technology and home economics. As a result of this exposure, they begin to show interest in and aptitude for specific technologies and, within these contexts, students recognise the need to work collaboratively to achieve more complex technological goals.

While continuing to demonstrate enterprising behaviours, students recognise the relationship between technology and enterprise, and gain experience in the nature and operations of business. They can acquire enterprising behaviours through the simulated conduct of a business in an educational environment, or similar activities.

Values

When exploring the potential of technology and enterprise, students identify and take into account the cultural beliefs, value systems, abilities and ethical positions that affect the development and use of technologies. They examine and develop their own beliefs, values and attitudes, while also using their understanding of those held by individuals, families, groups and society. They account for these and their interconnectedness when making decisions that ensure solutions are ecologically sustainable and meet the needs of all stakeholders.

Students are aware that technological developments inevitably have consequences. They evaluate the appropriateness of technologies on ethical and moral grounds, as well as considering economic advantage and the suitability of products, processes, systems, services and environments for individuals and groups at local, national and international levels. They understand that suitability may be affected by the beliefs and abilities of individuals, or the cultures and values of groups within society.

Students may, for example, discuss reasons why particular groups in the community may wear certain types of clothing and assess the implications for designers; examine issues concerning ‘plastic money’ in society; analyse how fast food advertising may influence family values and household expenditure; or simulate a recycling program to predict effects on the environment and waste disposal processes.