Technology Comprehension In-The-Making: Discipline-ing, Translating, Prototyping

Publikation: Bog / Antologi / Rapport / Ph.D.-afhandlingPh.d.-afhandling


This dissertation in Science and Technology Studies (STS) examines technology education
and knowledge production in public schooling and the postdigital society. It centres on
the Danish Ministry of (Children and) Education’s trial of technology comprehension
(2018-2021): In the pursuit of making young people makers, not only users, of
technology, and cultivating active participants in a digital democracy, the trial programme
was launched to define, develop, trial, and evaluate a new, potentially mandatory, subject
called ‘technology comprehension’ (teknologiforståelse) for the public school. This effort
was both historical and politically consequential, as it offered scale to particular
understandings of what constituted technologically educated civic subjects and digital
Driven by a concern for the politics of how technology education is assembled
(‘critical Tech-Ed’), STS, ethnographic methods, and critical reading strategies are used to
examine the relations of heterogenous actors in the experiment with technology
comprehension. In particular by engaging the work of researchers, experts, teachers, and
consultants. As well as the effects of these relations on lived worlds. In doing so, the thesis
aims to understand what comes to be understood as affording technology comprehension
and how; as well as what forms of knowing are negotiated and handled in the making of
technology comprehension. The dissertation’s three papers conceptualise knowledgemaking
in the trial of technology comprehension as work of ‘discipline-ing’, translating,
and prototyping.
Discipline-ing is explored as an effect of the contents of the subject proposal for
technology comprehension. The proposal renders the world as digital building blocks that
can be handled by the technologically educated person that technology comprehension
subject matter cultivates. A technologically deterministic view dominates and limits how
change and agency can be imagined. Translating is explored as the work of integrating
design practice into technology comprehension learning, teaching, and subject matter
development, due to the promise it is said to hold for ensuring the democratic and
creative-constructive ideals of the public school. Translations of actors generates
epistemic cultures, disciplinary canons, and perspectives on what constitutes good
formative education. In particular those that are enacted as a boundary between ‘theory’
and ‘practice’. Prototyping is explored through the proliferation of a prototyping culture,
as pupils as well as teachers and subject matter developers are engaging in prototyping
and with prototypes. The capacity of prototyping is the handling of disparate social
worlds, e.g. of epistemic uncertainty and of a ‘theory-practice divide’.
The empirical-analytical work in this thesis brings into view the relationality of
knowledge-making of the trial programme. The thesis also argues that it is necessary and
possible to imagine alternative relations with digital technology than those that
reproduce a digital reality; It argues for the engaging, with STS, the affordances of a
theory-practice divide in the public school to develop technology comprehension; And it
argues that the trial programme puts not only technology comprehension to the test in
terms of its future as a school subjects, but also tests the social fabric of postdigital
Denmark, as it makes actors articulate their alliances to certain knowledges and methods.
Relations that STS and critical Tech-Ed studies should engage and intervene in to make
just, sustainable, and accountable educational and civic futures. These findings on
technology comprehension in-the-making may be used to further understand the public
school in the postdigital society
Antal sider168
StatusUdgivet - 2024


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