Learning elemental structures and dynamic processes in technological systems: A cognitive framework

M. Barak, P. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


An important objective of science and technology education is the development of pupils' capacity for systems thinking. While in science education the term system relates mainly to structures and phenomena in the natural world, technology education focuses on systems designed to fulfill people's needs and desires: examples include systems to control the local environment, or the position or motion of objects. Despite the centrality of the system concept to technology and technology education, issues relating to the teaching and learning of systems within the technology curriculum have been little addressed. This paper explores some elemental structures common to technological feedback control systems, and highlights the relationships between the structural nature and the dynamic behavior of these systems. It is argued that the study of systems and control concepts in technology has the potential to promote higher learning skills such as interdisciplinary thinking and modeling, and an instructional framework for achieving this goal is proposed. Questions and research issues on the fostering of systems thinking in technology education are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-340
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Design Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2007


  • Dynamic response
  • Interdisciplinary thinking
  • Modeling
  • Structure
  • Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering (all)


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