Mary Pat Baima (2009) Planning a Technology Curriculum, NIU
The main purpose of education is to prepare young people to become functioning members of society. If the main purpose of education was simply to prepare them for acquiring jobs, then the responsibility of the educator would be much less. However, the words, “functioning members of society,” encompass much more than teaching students how to weld, use a word processing program, or figure a total on a balance sheet. In today’s world, young people must be trained to think, and think creatively with a group of other creatively thinking people. However, the acquisition of basic skills still remains important because even the most creative thinker must have an understanding of thesubject matter. Educators debate whether curriculum should emphasize basic skills or creative discovery. Wagner (2003), when speaking on ideologies and education, summarizes the debate between conservatives and progressives. Conservatives believe that traditional academic subject content needs to be taught, while educators who support the “constructivist” theory believe that motivation for learning and student construction of knowledge should inform the curriculum (p. 45-46). Wagner agrees that, “students need a foundation of knowledge and information for true literacy and lifelong learning” (2003, p. 46).
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