Teaching engineering and technology: Cognitive, knowledge and problem-solving taxonomies

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: This paper aims to explore the objectives and methods of teaching engineering and technology education (ETE) through the lens of three educational taxonomies in cognitive, knowledge and problem-solving perspectives. This analysis is useful in light of today's increasing interest in teaching engineering and technology in K-12 education, instead of crafts or manual skills. Design/methodology/approach: This is an exploratory study. Technology and engineering education is a relatively new area in K-12 education, and little has been written about the use of general educational taxonomies for analysing and designing the teaching and learning of this subject. Findings: The literature analysis teaches us that fostering students' higher-order capabilities such as design and problem solving in engineering and technology cannot take place in isolation from specific knowledge. Instruction should be designed to: develop a certain degree of factual, procedural, conceptual and meta-cognitive knowledge in relevant areas of technology, science and mathematics; and engage learners in assignments of increasing cognitive levels, from simple to complex ones. Originality/value: This work is original and valuable in that it explores ETE through tools often used in the educational literature and research, rather than regarding technology education as an exceptional school subject. This could encourage making engineering and technology a core component in the overall curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-333
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • Conceptual
  • Engineering
  • Factual
  • Knowledge
  • Procedural
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (all)


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