Examining thinking in primary-level Design and Technology learning activities

Howard Middleton
School of Education and Professional Studies/Griffith Institute for Educational Research, Griffith University, Australia

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Ingår i: PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 73:40, s. 341-347

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Publicerad: 2012-06-18

ISBN: 978-91-7519-849-1

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Most curriculum documents in Design and Technology make claims about how students will develop and learn as a result of engaging in Design and Technology learning activities. These claims will often include the development of creative and innovative thinking; both of which are regarded as forms of higher order thinking. However; there is little research evidence to support these claims and much of what is available is drawn from small-scale qualitative studies and thus subject to the limitations inherent in such research.

This paper outlines and examines the use of an instrument called the Cognitive Holding Power Questionnaire (CHPQ) (Stevenson; 1986) to measure higher order thinking with primary age students engaging in design and technology learning activities. The CHPQ is a quantitative instrument that elicits responses from students on their perceptions about the influence the learning environment (teacher; materials; activities etc) is having on the kinds of thinking they are using during their learning. The instrument is suitable for large scale studies and provides powerful data to support the learning area. The paper outlines a study in which the instrument was used. However; the primary aim of the paper is to explore the utility and robustness of the instrument to provide a better understanding of the kinds of thinking that occurs in Design and Technology classrooms.


Design & Technology; higher-order-thinking; quantitative research method; learning activities


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