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(iii) FDETE1-A/1/2007-2009
Contents FDETE5-E/1/2007-2009

Study unit Page

1.1 Technology and Technology Education 2
1.1.1 Technology 2
1.1.2 Technology Education 3
1.2 The role of technology in society 3
1.2.1 Technology as part of our cultural system 3
1.2.2 Culture, values and beliefs 4
1.2.3 Technology reflects the humanmade world 4
1.2.4 Technology enhances living conditions 5
1.2.5 Myths surrounding technology 5
1.3 Part of a new learning area 5
1.3.1 More relevant education 5
1.3.2 Rationale for Technology Education 6
1.3.3 Learning programmes which are fun 7
2.1 Steps in the technological process 10
2.2 Need/problem/want analysis 13
2.3 Analyse the problem, need or want: problems 14
2.4 Analyse the problem, need or want: examples of briefs 15
2.5 Design and develop alternative solution 18
2.5.1 Examples of a design 18
2.6 Planning to realise the solutions 20
2.6.1 Write a specification 20
2.6.2 Prepare working drawing 21
2.6.3 Prepare a production schedule 22
2.7 Make or manufacture a prototype 24
2.7.1 Modelling 24
2.7.2 Make prototype of optimum solution 25
2.7.3 Making projects 26
2.8 Implement/evaluate the design 28
2.8.1 Formative evaluation 28
2.8.2 Summative evaluation 29
2.8.3 Developing evaluation procedure 29
2.8.4 An example of a product check list 31
2.9 Present information 32
3.1 Energy 35
3.1.1 Potential and kinetic energy 36
3.1.2 Types and sources of energy 36
3.1.3 Energy transformation 39

Study unit Page

3.1.4 Energy storage and distribution 40
3.1.5 Energy resources 41
3.2 Materials 42
3.2.1 Types, sources and properties of materials 42
3.2.2 Shaping techniques 46
3.2.3 Selection 46
3.3 Tools 47
3.4 Safety 48
3.5 Systems 49
3.5.1 Types of systems 49
3.5.2 Open and closed loop systems 50
3.5.3 Simple mechanisms 51
3.5.4 Control systems 51
3.6 Physical structures 52
3.6.1 Types of structures 52
3.6.2 Forces acting on structures 53
3.6.3 Stability of structures 53
3.7 Processing 54
3.8 Information processing 54
3.8.1 Data storage and communication forms 54
3.8.2 Data types 55
3.9 Selection and evaluation of products 56
4.1 Transformation of education 58
4.1.1 Paradigm shift in education 59
4.2 Structure of the Technology learning area 59
4.2.1 Technology learning outcomes 60
4.2.2 Technology assessment standards 60
4.2.3 The kind of teacher that is envisaged 60
4.2.4 The kind of learner that is envisaged 60
4.3 Learning programmes development 61
4.3.1 Meaningful learning programmes 61
4.3.2 Learning activities and OBE 62
4.4 Assessment principles 64
4.5 Classroom management 67
4.6 Learning programme portfolio 68
5.1 Graphics 69
5.2 Mechanisms, movement and control 78
5.3 Structures 85
5.4 Making projects 88
5.5 Materials 91
(v) FDETE1-A/1


The profession of technology education is beginning to

realize that the elementary school is a formidable frontier.
Like the Western frontier of the 1800s or the ``final frontier''
of outer space, it is mysterious and quite unlike anything
we're familiar with. And it is populated by strange creatures
we don't understand and quite frankly are a little afraid of:
Foster (1996:7)

Welcome to the Technology Education programme.

This study guide is based on the Revised National Curriculum
Statement (RNCS) document for Technology (DoE 2002) and the
Revised National Curriculum Statement (RNCS) teacher's guide for
the development of learning programmes (DoE 2003). Like the
prescribed book, these two documents are integral to your under-
standing of the the requirements of Technology Education as presented
in this study guide.
The RNCS documents are obtainable from the Education Department or
your school. You can also search the department of education website
at the location for copies of these
The primary aim of this course is to equip teachers with the knowledge,
skills, values and attitudes necessary to be able to teach Technology
Education at your school. Policy documents as stipulated above are
broad guidelines. Teachers have to elaborate on these stipulations by
making reference to other learning materials, including their practical
experiences. Teacher roles, as stipulated in the policy document Norms
and standards for educators and elaborated upon for Technology
Education in Pudi (2005), are also important.
Although this module is presented through the medium of distance
education you are expected to perform a variety of practical activities.
These activities are described in detail in the study guide and tutorial
letters. The activities are linked directly to the assignments. Before
doing the activities, please make sure that you have the materials, tools
and equipment you will need.
I hope your journey through this guide will be both interesting and
We wish you success.
Dr T I Pudi

I am greatly indebted to Prof C Potgieter for laying the foundation for
this study guide. I am grateful for his insights as presented in the
previous study guide.
I further want to acknowledge the use of Howard Bagshaw's graphics
pages from the Datafile for the book Design and Technology Key Stage
3, Cambridge University Press # 1993. The policy documents from the
Department of Education also acted as a source for the contents of this
study guide. Without these valuable contributions, our attempt to make
the practice of Technology Education relevant and worthwhile would
have been compromised.
31 May 2006
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The results when different technological concepts are applied in society

vary from one technology to the next. To clarify the difference between
similar concepts it is sometimes useful to look at the results when these
concepts are applied in society. In this regard we will consider the
seemingly similar concepts of educational technology, technology and
Technology Education
. Technology: The results when different technologies are applied in
society are systems, processes, and products and their nature differs
from one technology to the next. For instance, the products of food
technologies are found on the shelves of supermarkets, but
telecommunication technologies deliver products such as telephone
systems and television sets.
. Educational technology: Obviously the results when educational
technology is applied in society are also systems, processes and
products but their nature is limited to that which is applicable to
education. For instance, overhead transparencies are one of the
products which result when educational technology is applied in
. Technology Education: When Technology Education is applied in
society, the results are technologically literate individuals.

The relationship between technology in general and educational

technology as a particular technology is obvious. But when we are
dealing with Technology Education we have a totally different
situation. Here we are dealing with educating learners, and more is
involved than just technological systems, processes and products. The
challenge for Technology Education, and thus for the Technology
Learning Area of Curriculum 2005, lies in being able to educate
learners to apply technology responsibly in a complex society (Dugger
& Yung 1995:4) to which there is far more just only technology.

Outcomes for study unit 1

After studying study unit 1 you will be able to:
. explain what the concepts: technology and Technology Education
. explain the role of technology in society
. understand the rationale for Technology Education

. understand myths surrounding Technology and Technology Educa-

tion and their origin
. know and understand what technological literacy means
. understand technological values
. understand how Technology relates with other learning areas


1.1.1 Technology
Many definitions of technology can be found in the literature. The
following definition is given by the Open University of the United
Kingdom (1996:12) in their ``Living with technology'' course:
Technology is the application of scientific and other know-
ledge to practical tasks by organisations that involve people
and machines.

The definition used by HEDCOM (1996:12) for the purpose of the

Technology 2005 project (a project to teach Technology to all learners
in all South African schools by the year 2005) is:
Technology is a disciplined process using knowledge, skills
and resources to meet human needs and wants by designing,
making and evaluating products and processes.

This definition has been extended by the education authorities for the
purpose of introducing the new Technology learning area into schools
as part of Curriculum 2005:
Technology is the use of knowledge, skills, and resources to
meet human needs and wants, recognise and solve problems
by investigating, designing, developing and evaluating
products, processes and systems.

Puk (1996:1011) on the other hand gives a definition for particular

technologies which may clarify some of the concepts in the other
... a technology is a systematic method of achieving a
practical purpose. ... Any technology can be classified as
being one (or more) of three technology emphases: human
processes (surgery, essay writing, algorithms), physical
products (computers, corkscrews, running shoes), and envi-
ronmental ecosystems (canals, gardens, fish ponds).

Although different people choose to define Technology in different

ways, the essence of these different definitions is the more or less the
same (Pudi; 2006).
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1.1.2 Technology Education

To a certain extent Technology Education can be equated with how the
Technology learning area will be implemented in schools. HEDCOM
(1996:12,13) describes Technology Education as follows with regard to
the Technology 2005 project:
Technology Education concerns technological knowledge and
skills, as well as technological processes, and involves
understanding the impact of technology on both the indi-
vidual and society. It is ultimately designed to promote the
capability of the learner to perform effectively in the
technological environment he/she lives in, and to stimulate
him/her to contribute towards its improvement.

This capability should be reflected in:

. the effective use of technological products and systems
. the ability to evaluate technological products/processes from a
functional, economic, environmental, ethical, social and aes-
thetic point of view
. the ability to design and build appropriate products to
functional and aesthetic specifications set either by the learner
or by others

This corresponds largely to the following specific outcomes that the

educational authorities have set for the new Technology learning area
as part of Curriculum 2005.
Learners will be able to:
. understand and apply the technological process to solve
problems and satisfy needs and wants
. apply a range of technological knowledge and skills ethically
and responsibly
. access, process and use data for technological purposes
. select and evaluate products and systems
. demonstrate an understanding of how different societies
create and adapt technological solutions to problems
. demonstrate an understanding of the impact of technology
. demonstrate an understanding of how technology might reflect
different biases and create responsible and ethical strategies to
address them


1.2.1 Technology as part of our cultural system
Like language, rituals, commerce and the arts, technology has become
an integral part of our cultural system. In general the technological
products, processes and systems that are used and applied in a
particular society are a reflection of the norms and values prevalent in

that society (McCade & Weymer 1996:41). The products, processes and
systems generated by technology have been with us since the beginning
of human existence.
Our early ancestors had particular needs and wants. With the limited
knowledge, skills and materials that they had at their disposal, they
designed tools, weapons and shelters to enhance their living condi-
tions. This design process was probably very much a hit or miss affair.
Today we have the advantage of being able to benefit from what has
already been achieved through the technological process and the
broadening of scientific and other knowledge. We have access to an
enormous range of information, knowledge and skills and a wide
variety of different materials. We also have access to a wide variety of
tools and facilities for using these resources to their best advantage.
These developments enable us to design technological products,
processes and systems in a more goal-directed way to satisfy particular
needs and wants.

1.2.2 Culture, values and beliefs

These are often referred to as SKVA (skills, knowledge, values and
attitudes). The Department of Education document: Manifesto on
values, education and democracy (DoE 2001) discusses these values.

1.2.3 Technology reflects the humanmade world

From the discussion above it can be deduced that technology reflects
the humanmade world. It has also become easier to design products,
processes and systems that work well, are aesthetically pleasing and
are safe to use. It is however very important that, in this innovative and
creative process, we do not lose sight of the underlying value of
building a healthy and sound society and preserving the natural
The impact that technology could have on society and the
natural environment should thus always be considered in a
responsible way before technology is implemented.
(Gilberti 1994:10)

The phenomenal increase in information and knowledge, the acceler-

ated pace of change and the greater variety that is foreseen for the
society of the future can be accepted as inevitable (Toffler 1981:360;
Coates in Streichler 1994:9). However, from the perspective of
strategic planning D'Amico (1988:237) maintains that:
... we can influence the future ...
... today's trends can help us anticipate the future ...
... today's decisions can help us realize the future scenario
that is best for us ...
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1.2.4 Technology enhances living conditions

Technology enhances the living conditions of society by providing
products, processes and systems which are beneficial from a
functional, economic, environmental, ethical, social and aesthetic
point of view. Technology Education, on the other hand, empowers
every citizen by helping them to live effectively in modern technolo-
gical society. This applies to all societies, but especially to Third
World, poor, underprivileged communities in both metropolitan and
rural areas. A better understanding and knowledge of and skills in
existing technologies in, for instance, nutrition, water, health, housing,
energy and agriculture could increase the technological literacy of
these communities.
Technological literacy in these areas of global and South African
concern could empower people to develop into innovative, critical,
responsible and effective citizens with the capacity to improve their
quality of life by using available resources and opportunities.
Individuals should be able not only to become involved in the
application of technology, but to enter into effective dialogue with
the professional technologists who make key decisions about their lives
and welfare on a daily basis. It is, however, important to realise that
the implementation of technology in any society will have both
beneficial and detrimental effects on people, wildlife and the environ-
ment. Chemical technology, for instance, has made insecticides and
artificial fertilisers available to farmers. The benefits of this technology
include larger crop yields and cheaper food for the needy. On the other
hand the detrimental effects of this technology include the pollution of
rivers and underground water sources. As Liao (1994:4) puts it:
We must all become more technologically literate so that we
can make more informed decisions about personal choices as
well as societal choices. And if our democratic society is to
thrive in an increasingly competitive global economy, we
must use technology more intelligently.

1.2.5 Myths surrounding technology and Technology Education

Lack of the understanding of what technology and Technology
Education really are is the main cause of myths about technology. It
is widely believed that technological literacy cannot only help our
understanding of what technology and Technology Education really
are, but also clarify the myths surrounding these subjects.


1.3.1 More relevant education
The introduction of Technology as one of the new learning areas in the
educational system could make education more relevant to South
African society. This is possible if Technology Education is aimed at

supplying the youth, as future citizens, with the necessary resources to

live effectively and meaningfully in a technological world which is
becoming increasingly more complex (Savage 1993:41). Combined with
the practical nature of Technology Education, this could also help to
establish and maintain a culture of learning among learners. The time
frame within which technological changes are now introduced into
society has been reduced to far less than the life expectancy of an
individual. People are therefore exposed to many changes within their
lifetime. Technology Education has the capacity and potential to
establish and nurture a culture of lifelong learning (Draghi 1993:85).
Communication, textiles, transport, tourism, manufacturing, media,
sport and recreation could be added to the other global and South
African concerns (themes) mentioned above. By including relevant
aspects from other learning areas, the Technology learning area could
be integrated to form a relevant whole which will empower pupils to
function effectively in a technological environment to the benefit of the
individual, society and the natural environment. The Technology
learning area could thus make a definite contribution towards ensuring
that the technological future of South African society will be a
meaningful one (Eisenberg 1994:5).

1.3.2 Rationale for Technology Education

To be able to attain the goals of more relevant education, and of
nurturing a culture of learning (including lifelong learning) and
technological literacy, the educational authorities have given the
following rationale for the introduction of Technology as a new
learning area.
The Technology learning area seeks to develop in learners
. an ability to solve technological problems by investigating,
designing, developing, evaluating as well as communicating effec-
tively in their own and other languages and by using different modes
of communication
. a fundamental understanding of and an ability to apply technologi-
cal knowledge, skills and values, working as individuals and as
group members, in a range of technological contexts
. a critical understanding of the interrelationship between technol-
ogy, society, the economy and the environment

This understanding of technology should contribute to

. the development of learners' capability to perform effectively in
their changing environment and to stimulate them to contribute
towards its improvement
. the effective use of technological products, processes and systems
. the ability to evaluate technological products, processes, and
systems from a functional, economic, ethical, social and aesthetic
point of view
. the design and development of appropriate products, processes or
7 FDETE1-A/1

systems to functional, aesthetic, and other specifications set either

by the learner or by others
. the delivery of and access to quality education, leading to the
redress of past inequities through its relevance to the ever-changing
modern world and the integration of theory and practice
. the development of citizens who are innovative, critical, respon-
sible and effective
. the demystification of technology
. the recognition of and respect for diverse technological solutions
and biases
. creating positive attitudes towards, perceptions of and aspirations
to technology-based careers

The Technology learning area is compulsory for all learners from Grade
0 to Grade 9 (Department of Education 1997a:85). According to Bensen
and Bensen (1993:3), Technology Education could form the basis for
what they call ``know how'', and lay the foundation for the designers
and problem solvers of the future, no matter what particular
occupation they may want to qualify themselves in. Obviously the
development of critical thinking skills and creativity as early as the
foundation phase would be one of the main objectives in this regard
(Mahlke 1993:6). The Technology learning area could then be used as a
vehicle to teach skills in the different ways in which information can be
manipulated and processed. By creating a learning environment that
enhances motivation and positive attitudes (Starko 1995:119), Tech-
nology Education could lay the foundation for the development of
Critical and creative thinking as a necessary part of the curriculum is
emphasised by the stipulations of Critical Outcome 1 for Curriculum
2005. The importance of critical and creative thinking in education is
emphasised in Pudi (2006).

1.3.3 Learning programmes which are fun

As mentioned above, Technology Education has the potential to make
education more relevant. But Technology Education also has the
potential of making education enjoyable because the learning outcomes
for the Technology learning area can be developed into projects and
functional learning programmes which can stimulate a wide variety of
interests among learners.
Because the Technology learning area is activity based and uses a
problem-solving approach, one could involve the learners, their parents
and the community by asking them to identify the problems, needs or
wants that should be included in the activities of learning programmes
and project development.
In order to realise the learning outcomes in the classroom, these need

to be developed further into learning programmes. This could be done

by making use of the following steps (see RNCS Teachers' Guide for the
Development of Learning Programmes (DoE 2003) for more detail):
1 Structure a learning programme by identifying particular learning
activities for the classroom situation that will ensure that the
pupils are able to achieve the relevant specific outcomes or parts of
these outcomes.
2 Identify the relevant content and appropriate themes to form the
organisers for attaining the specific outcomes.
3 Decide on the way to present the learning activities by choosing
the appropriate items from the following learning contexts:
Perspective: local, national, international
Mode: individual, pair, group
Style: oral, written, graphical, modelling, simulation, mak-
ing products/artefacts
Resources: texts, observation, experimentation

Written activity (1)

(a) Prepare a speech that you have to deliver to a group of parents and
pupils to explain what the new Technology learning area is all
about. In your speech you should
. clarify the concepts of technology and Technology Education
. explain the role of technology in society
. explain the nature of Technology Education
. convince them that it is a necessary part of the curriculum
. motivate them to become enthusiastic and to participate as a
community by showing them how they will benefit from it and
how much fun it can be
(b) Write a report about myths in technology and Technology
Education. Do a critical analysis of these myths by, among other
things, showing the origin of the myths and what efforts may be
undertaken to overcome these myths. Be creative.
9 FDETE1-A/1


The technological process

The technological process describes everything that should happen in a

particular technological endeavour, from the inception (an idea)
through the development (designing, making, evaluating a product,
process or system) to the conclusion (marketing) of that endeavour.
The technological process is usually described in terms of a set of
consecutive steps that are to be followed in a cyclical fashion.
The particular steps that are involved and the cyclical way in which
they are carried out may differ slightly from one technology to the next.
This should not be seen as an anomaly but as part of the adaptable,
innovative and developmental nature of technology in general.
Technology, in general, can be seen as a manifestation of the methods
(including the technological process) people apply to adapt the
humanmade world to suit changing circumstances. McCade and
Weymer (1996:41), in an article in which they define the field of
Technology Education, put forward the following argument:
As long as there have been people there has been technology.
Indeed, the techniques of shaping tools are taken as the chief
evidence of the beginning of human culture. On the whole,
technology has been a powerful force in the development of
... Technology like language, ritual, values, commerce, and
the arts is an intrinsic part of a cultural system and it
both shapes and reflects the system's values.
(for values refer to section 1.2.2 in Study unit 1)
... In the broadest sense, technology extends our abilities to
change the world: to cut, shape or put together materials; to
move things from one place to another; to reach farther with
our hands, voices and senses. We use technology to change
the world to suit us better.

However, to be able to teach pupils about the technological process

that is involved in achieving what is mentioned above it will be
necessary to generalise to a certain extent. In accordance with the
adaptable nature of technology, it can be said that the technological
process usually involves a cycle of steps to be taken, including the
investigation of problems, needs and wants and the designing,
development, and evaluation of solutions in the form of products,
processes or systems.

Outcomes for Study Unit 2

After studying study unit 2 you will be able to:
. understand that technology is the use of knowledge, skills and
resources to meet human needs and wants, and be able to recognise
and solve problems by investigating, designing, developing and
evaluating products, processes and systems
. understand and apply the technological/design process to solve
problems and satisfy needs and wants


As mentioned above, there are different views on what the steps in the
technological process should be. The various approaches are however
very similar. The technological process can be generalised and
classified as a systematic approach to problem solving. A systematic
approach to problem solving should always include at least the
following steps: analysis of the problem, design of solutions, evaluation
of the optimum solution, and implementation of the preferred solution.
Obviously this should be a cyclical process with feedback loops to cater
for continuous evaluation and improvement, as depicted in figure 1.

A systematic approach (from Potgieter 1992:76)



Evaluate Implement Design



A very general approach is adopted by Winek and Borchers (1993:23)

in describing the components of technological problem solving. They
describe these components of the technological process in general
terms as follows:
. identify
. define
11 FDETE1-A/1

. observe
. appraise
. try out
. evaluate

It should be clear that this corresponds closely with the systematic

approach to problem solving as depicted in figure 1.
HEDCOM (1996:14) follow a similar approach and argue that the
following tasks should be included in the technological process:
. identify and define needs
. gather and interpret information
. develop possible solutions and strategies to satisfy the needs
. work within the constraints and according to the design prescrip-
. continuously refine and improve the design ideas

Bosworth and Savage (1994:10) follow a slightly more functional

approach when describing the technological process, and they
recommend that the following steps should be included:
. statement of the problem
. gathering information about the problem
. analysis of the problem
. modelling
. problem evaluation
. producing prototypes
. observation and feedback

The Curriculum 2005 (1997:85) document also adopts a functional

approach, and the technological process is described as a cycle which
includes the following steps:
. Problems, needs and wants are identified and explained.
. A range of possible and relevant solutions is considered.
. An informed choice is made.
. A design is developed.
. Solutions are realised according to the design.
. The realised solution is evaluated.
. The process is recorded and communicated.

The RNCS document (DoE 2002:6/7) discusses the design/technological

process by using the following steps:
. Investigate
. Design
. Make
. Evaluate
. Communicate

Learning outcome 1 (LO 1) in the RNCS policy document (DoE 2002)


makes it obligatory to use the steps as stipulated above to achieve the

corresponding assessment standards (AS) for all phases in the General
Education and Training (GET) band.
For the purposes of this course, the approach will be to look at the
technological process from a functional point of view, and also to group
similar steps together to form a simplified structure. This structure
includes the whole process as described in the first sentence of this
study unit and also allows for a cycle of continuous assessment and
improvement through the use of feedback loops. This structure for the
technological process corresponds with the systematic approach
illustrated in figure 1 and includes six basic steps. In the sections
that follow, these steps will be dealt with in more detail. From these
sections you will notice that most of the steps included in the different
approaches mentioned earlier are actually substeps in the structure of
the technological process.
We can describe the technological process as follows:
1 Analyse the problem, need or want.
2 Design and develop alternative solutions.
3 Plan for the realisation of the optimum solution.
4 Make or manufacture a prototype of the optimum solution.
5 Evaluate the implementation of the design and prototype.
6 Present information for report and/or marketing purposes.

It is clear from the preceding tabulation that the planning step (step 3)
has been added to make six steps, as opposed to the five steps in the
design process in the RNCS document.
In figure 2 the structure of the technological process is depicted in
more detail. The technological process should be repeated as many
times as is necessary to ensure that the problem is solved or the need or

The technological/design process


(Figure 8) (Figure 3)

(Figure 7) ! (Figure 4)
! !!




(Figure 6) (Figure 5)
13 FDETE1-A/1

want is satisfied. The figure numbers in brackets refer to the figures

where more details on each step can be found.

Case Study Activity (2)

. Use any creative activity that you have set for your learners, for
instance the design of a finger puppet or a mobile, and observe what
has happened. Look at your own planning and teaching activities as
well as the learning activities of the learners.
. Try to categorise these activities according to the six different steps
of the technological process as mentioned above, and summarise
your findings on paper under the different steps.


Technology is driven by the need to satisfy human desires. These
desires usually pertain to things like shelter, comfort, nutrition,
transport, energy and communication. This constant desire to improve
living conditions and the vision of being able to do things better is the
driving force behind technology.
Technology has to do not only with improving an existing situation but
also with designing and creating new products, processes and systems.
This need to make purposeful changes in the humanmade world is the
reason why technology exists. But society consists of more than just
these humanmade cultural artefacts (technological products, pro-
cesses, systems). Society involves personal relationships, home
environments, work environments, community environments, the
natural environment and so on. The analysis of problems, needs and
wants from a technological point of view thus needs to take cognisance
of the total situation that is involved. In general the analysis of a
problem, need or want should include the components listed below
(Glover 1995:5):
Analyse the problem, need or want
. Investigate the situation within which the problem, need or want
. Identify and clarify the actual problem, need or want.
. Gather information about the problem, need or want.
. Analyse the problem, need or want.
. Write a brief stating the problem, need or want and defining the
parameters or constraints which may influence decisions about
possible solutions.

Analysis of the problem, need or want

Technological process:
Problem analysis

Yes !
Adapt Investigate situation


Write a brief Identify actual problem

Analyse problem Gather information

For each of these components, several activities that need to be

performed are listed below. Obviously not all problems, needs or wants
will require the same amount of investigation. For instance, to a Stone
Age family standing out in the rain, the need for shelter might have
appeared to be obvious. In the rather complicated world of today it is
not always as easy to identify and analyse problems, needs or wants.
Problem analysis is one of the important skills that need to be
developed in order to find effective solutions to problems and satisfy
needs and wants. Use the lists that follow as guidelines or as check lists
to ensure that you make a thorough analysis of the problem, need or
want. This is essential to ensure that before you start to look for
solutions you know what the problem really is. There is no point in
finding solutions to problems that do not exist or which are perceived
to be problems but in reality are not. Sometimes when we have been
looking at a perceived problem we discover the real problems after a
thorough problem analysis (Bagshaw 1991:19).


Analyse the problem, need or want: problems

Problem 1: Scale for sweets

As part of a community involvement project, a company donated a big
bag of pink sweets to your class to promote the Technology learning
area which is currently being implemented as part of the Curriculum
15 FDETE1-A/1

2005 project. The company has however set the condition that the
learners themselves have to divide the sweets among them by making a
scale using simple available material (preferably also waste material).

Problem 2: A rural energy problem

A rural community with no access to electricity have the problem that
their source of firewood, which they use to cook food and boil water, is
rapidly becoming depleted.

Problem 3: Small boat (milk carton/ice-cream ladles/rubber bands/

cardboard wheel)
You, as the Technology teacher, have to design a simple toy that the
learners have to make themselves. The learners must make use of
waste material and the toy must demonstrate the transformation of
elastic energy to mechanical energy.

Problem 4: Bottle opener

An old-age home with limited funds has consulted you, as a Technology
teacher, with regard to the following problem: the elderly people have
problems opening the bottle tops of a variety of bottles and they asked
whether the school could help them with the problem.

Problem 5: Sundial
You, as the Technology teacher, have to design an interdisciplinary
task {Technology (design, make, evaluate); Science (shadows, day-
night cycle) and Mathematics (count, the time scale)} that the learners
have to make.


Write a brief:
This brief corresponds to problem 1 mentioned above.
Before you write a brief, all the sections of Step 1: Problem analysis of
the technological process should be completed. This information is then
used to write the brief the brief is a summary that is compiled from
the results of the different sections.
The format of the brief can be:

Background information: (scenario)

This entails a brief description of what the whole problem is. It also
includes how you expect the problem to be solved.

Investigate the situation

. Identify the situation in which the problem, need or want exists.
. Observe the situation to identify its main characteristics and
. Describe the background to the situation from historical, cultural,
economic, agricultural and environmental perspectives.
. Describe the situation in terms of aspects related to the problem,
need or want.

Identify the actual problem, need or want

. Identify whether the problem, need or want is perceived or real.
. For those which are perceived, ascertain whether they can be
translated into real ones.
. Identify the primary problem, need or want.
. Ascertain whether there are any secondary problems, needs or wants
which are associated with the primary problem, need or want.
. Identify and clarify the actual problem, need or want by separating it
from those which are secondary or only perceived.

Gather information about the problem

. Do the necessary research about the actual problem, need or want.
. Gather information on the functions, materials, reliability, appear-
ance, method of manufacture, ergonomics, environmental impact,
storage, finish, shape and size, safety, cost and maintenance of the
problem, need or want (Glover 1995:8).
. Organise, sort and record the information that you have gathered
according to its relationship to the actual problem, need or want.

Analyse the problem

. Interpret the above information in terms of its importance or priority
in relation to the actual problem, need or want.
. Describe the problem, need or want in terms of its components.
. Explain the effect that each component has on the actual problem,
need or want.

Write/compile a brief
. State the relevant background information with regard to the
. Give a general but clear outline of the actual problem, need or want.
. Describe the problem, need or want in terms of its components.
17 FDETE1-A/1

. Explain the effect that each component has on the actual problem,
need or want.
. List the relevant specifications, parameters and constraints which
may influence decisions about possible solutions.

In law, a brief is a detailed list of all the facts necessary when

preparing a court case. The word ``brief'' can also be used to denote a
summary (Pudi 2006).
The above format can be clarified if we work through brief 1 in detail.

Brief 1: Scale for sweets

Analyse the situation:

. The learners involved are in grade 1.
. The learners involved have only a very limited knowledge of scales.
. The learners have limited skills with regard to the use of tools to
shape and cut materials.

Identify the real problem, need or want:

. The real problem is not the dividing up of the sweets but to design
and make a scale.
. The scale must be made by using simple available materials.

Gather information about the problem, need or want:

. The learners do not know about the basic principles of levers.
. The available materials include items like margarine containers,
rulers, beverage tins, thin string, wooden clothes hangers, pipe
cleaners and Prestik.

Analyse the problem, need or want:

. The learners have to be informed about the basic principles of levers
with a central fulcrum.
. The learners have to be informed about the aspects mentioned above
to enable them to develop their own solutions.

Research activity (3)

. Consult section 2.3 above, ``Analyse the problem, need, or want:
problems'', for a list of different problems, needs and wants.
. Complete the research that needs to be done for each problem, need
or want by following the above guidelines and recording the

. Write a brief for each problem, need or want.

. Keep your written briefs in a portfolio.


If we look at the humanmade world we see that everything which has
ever been made was designed by someone. Have you wondered how
many different things you might have designed without actually
realising it? Think of things like the page layout of a worksheet, a
handmade greeting card, the cover of a book, an arrangement of plants
in a pot and so on. Such designs are your response to a particular
problem, need or want. In other words, your response to the problem,
need or want was to be innovative and creative and to design
This all seems very simple and straightforward. The complexity of
what happens during the different steps of the technological process
should, however, not be underestimated. It is during the step design
and develop alternative solutions in particular that the complex
process of innovative and creative ``designing'' happens (Denton &
Williams 1996:15; Kimble, Stables & Green 1996:30). This is the
reason why this step could be seen as the most important step in the
whole technological process. Because of the complexity of the concept
of design, it is difficult to define it and it is usually merely described in
terms of what designers do and what the results of the design process
Experience has shown that, to teach design effectively, learners
themselves should be continuously exposed to their own design
experiences and activities and not only be shown examples of the
design efforts of other people. Design activities should not focus solely
on successful design efforts. Learners should also know what it feels
like when design efforts fail and they have to persist and repeatedly
redesign until they reach the desired result. This is of particular value
when it includes having to design as part of team or a group where
positive social interaction is a prerequisite for success.

2.5.1 Example of a design document

This is only an example: note that the cyclical nature of the
technological process usually requires us to record in our design
document all the other steps in the technological process. However,
here we concentrate only on the design and development of alternative
19 FDETE1-A/1

(A) Generate different ideas/alternatives:
Generate at least three different ideas/alternatives
(The three ideas should be drawn free-hand)
For the problem requiring a scale for weighing sweets, the following
three ideas/alternatives can be generated:

Design and develop alternative solutions/ideas
Idea 1 Idea 2 Idea 3

(B) Advantages and disadvantages:

Write down the advantages and disadvantages of each of the ideas/

(C) Choose the best idea

Based on the information gathered from the previous stages, choose the
idea/alternative that you think is the best: either Idea 1, Idea 2 or Idea

(D) Justify your choice:

Give reason/s for choosing the idea above

(E) Refine the chosen idea/alternative:

To refine an idea means to make it clearer and more detailed.

Design Activity (4)

. Choose any two of the briefs/problems from the list as given in
section 2.3. Complete all the phases of Step 2. Design and develop
alternative solutions for each problem, need or want by applying
the guidelines mentioned above. Design at least three alternative
solutions for each brief.
. Compile a design document for both of the problems.
. Keep your design documents in a portfolio.


In the field of Technology Education, planning includes those activities
which are involved when working out, in advance, how a product,
process or system is to be produced or realised. Planning builds on the
previous phases, and involves having a vision of what the final outcome
of the preferred solution will be and how it might be achieved.
Planning is thus directed towards preparing for the actual making,
production or realisation of the preferred solution. Planning includes
the writing of specifications, the preparation of working drawings and
the preparation of a production schedule. These documents should be
prepared in such a way that they supply all the information needed to
make or produce a prototype of the preferred solution which can then
be evaluated and tested under the conditions for which it was designed.

Planning for the realisation of the preferred solution

Technological process:
Step: Planning

Adapt !
Good Write a specification


Production schedule Working drawings

2.6.1 Write a specification

Having decided on the preferred solution and compiled the design
document, you should have a good understanding of what is required
for the solution and of the factors which will affect what can ultimately
be achieved. A specification can now be prepared.
The specification should be a document outlining the specific details of
the design which must be adhered to when making or producing the
prototype. The specification should also identify the design limits and
constraints as derived from the analysis of the problem and the
refinement of the preferred solution (Garret 1995:11).
The specification should include detailed information about, among
other things, the:
. function of the solution
21 FDETE1-A/1

. reliability of the prototype as a whole as well as its parts

. general appearance of the prototype
. shape and size requirements of the prototype
. final finishing requirements of the prototype and its parts
. type and amount of materials that are to be used
. manufacturing methods that are to be used
. cost requirements of the prototype
. ergonomic requirements of the prototype
. environmental impact requirements that are imposed
. safety requirements with regard to the prototype
. storage requirements with regard to the prototype
. maintenance requirements with regard to the prototype
. packaging requirements with regard to the prototype etc.

2.6.2 Prepare working drawings

After writing the specification, you should prepare working drawings
of the chosen design. The working drawings are very important in that
they help you to communicate your ideas. The working drawings will
eventually form part of the portfolio of the design, and should also
include your planning sketches. They should, however, contain all the
details of the design which are necessary for its construction,
production or realisation, depending on whether it is a product, a
process or a system.
The working drawings should also contain enough information so that
materials can be marked out effectively to ensure accuracy and avoid
waste. The working drawings should be easy to understand and they
should refer to and correspond with the information in the specification
(eg types and amounts of materials, methods of shaping, joining,
finishing) (Bagshaw 1991:93).
Remember that the working drawing is the same as the final (refined)
drawing from Step 2 Design and develop alternative solutions above,
except that this working drawing has more details such as dimensions
and those mentioned in the paragraph above.
You should ensure that all the manufacturing, producing, making or
realisation issues are dealt with in the working drawings before
production actually starts.

Keep the sketches, drawings, diagrams and instructions in your
working drawings

Simple, bold and clear


It is important that you structure and organise your working drawings

in such a way that the function and the form of the design are
communicated clearly. The drawings and sketches are therefore
essential for expressing your creative ideas effectively and efficiently.
By including rough drawings and creative sketches in the portfolio you
can communicate how the ideas developed progressively.
The main aim of the working drawings is to communicate your design
ideas and to provide sufficient information and instructions so that the
prototype of your preferred solution can be made, produced or
The following are a few of the graphical aspects which you should keep
in mind when compiling your working drawings:
. Layout Well-planned page layout is an excellent communication
tool for putting across your ideas, so do not clutter your pages with
too much information; organise your headings, subheadings, text,
sketches and drawings creatively; arrange and block related
information together on a particular page.
. Lettering Use lettering innovatively to improve communication;
use different typefaces, different letter sizes, bold lettering, italic
lettering, underlining and different types of pens, markers, crayons
and so on to enhance the appearance of your text.
. 2-D and 3-D Use two-dimensional and three-dimensional sketches
and drawings, depending on what you want to depict.
. Colour Use different colours to highlight or emphasise different
portions of your working drawings.
. Charts Use the following ways of showing information; picto-
grams, histograms, bar charts, pie charts, line graphs, flow charts
and maps.
. Storyboards Use a storyboard to show in pictures a sequence of
events that needs to be carried out.

Extra: Graphical activity

. Study the section ``Graphics'' in study unit 5

2.6.3 Prepare a production schedule

A production schedule helps you plan ahead to ensure that you
complete all the work that needs to be done to realise your prototype
within the time and cost constraints that have been set. It is simply the
planning, organising, and managing of tasks and resources to
accomplish a defined objective (a prototype of the preferred solution)
within certain time and cost constraints. A production schedule could
23 FDETE1-A/1

be as simple as a list of tasks and scheduled start and finish dates

written on a notepad. A more detailed production schedule may,
however, be necessary for a complex project. Here the complex project
is first broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks. The tasks
are then scheduled separately, the necessary resources for each task
are allocated and the tasks are monitored as the work progresses.
The following are some of the questions that need to be asked when
compiling a production schedule:
. What are the different tasks that need to be performed?
. Which tasks need to be completed before another task can begin?
. Which tasks can be done at the same time?
. What resources (materials, tools) are necessary to complete each
. Who will complete each task?
. How long will it take to complete each task?
. How much will each task cost?
. What will happen if a task is not completed on time or is completed
ahead of schedule?
. At what stages do checks have to be made to see whether the work is
done according to the specifications?
. At what stages will the progress of the different tasks be checked and

A production schedule helps you to think things through, assign

responsibility, and make decisions about ways to proceed throughout
the project. It makes you aware of the time available, and of the time
required for particular processes and tasks. A production schedule
helps everybody involved in the project develop an appreciation for the
fact that the brief, the design document and the working drawings are
working documents (Glover 1995:16).
A production schedule also helps to establish the fact that planning is
an integral part of the process. It is important that planning be seen as
an ongoing and cyclical process and not only an exercise in presenting
ideas after something has been made.
Time plan charts and flow diagrams are examples of what the
production schedule should look like if you are to constantly keep
track of how the project is progressing and respond when there are any

An example of a production schedule

(Before preparing the production schedule, look at the design document
and the working drawings again.)

FIGURE 5 (a)
An example of a production schedule in table form

Describe the task Materials Tools Who will the Start Finish
needed needed do task

Planning Activity (5)

. For each of the design documents that you compiled for the different
problems, needs and wants in Design activity (4), complete all the
phases in Step 3. Plan to realise the optimum solution of the
technological process.
. In other words, for each brief with its corresponding design
document do the following:
write a specification
prepare the working drawings
compile a production schedule
. Keep these documents in a portfolio.


2.7.1 Modelling
Working drawings usually include text in the form of detailed
explanations, notes and instructions. To communicate ideas effec-
tively, working drawings are sometimes combined with two-dimen-
sional and three-dimensional models of the preferred design.
Models are usually scaled-down versions of the intended final product,
process or system which are used to enhance the communication of
ideas. The making of scaled-down models helps in developing and
detailing ideas to the stage where they will work and can be made.
Selecting and using appropriate materials and production techniques
when making models is important and could on its own be a learning
experience with regard to the technological process. The availability of
a wide range of materials with which to experiment, including ready-
25 FDETE1-A/1

made construction kits on the one hand and waste or reclaimed

materials on the other, could result in modelling experiences being
synonymous with making experiences. The basic principles involved in
modelling are similar to those of manufacturing or making (Bagshaw

2.7.2 Make prototype of optimum solution

The skills needed to produce a workable prototype may vary
considerably within a particular project or from one project to the
next. Obviously the skills needed to make a prototype of a product will
differ from those needed for a process and for a system. More
information in this regard can be found in study unit 3. The following
are some of the aspects that are involved when making a model or a
prototype of a product:
. Planning for making
Organising the work to be done this is to ensure that all
processes can be carried out safely, accurately and consistently. This
should be done against the backdrop of the brief, the design
document, the specification, the working drawings and the produc-
tion schedule.
Selecting from a range of materials, tools and techniques
select appropriate materials, tools and techniques to suit the
requirements as specified in the design document.
Matching tools, equipment and techniques with materials
different materials require the use of particular types of tools,
equipment and techniques.
Manipulating and using tools and materials safely materi-
als, tools and equipment need to be used safely (see study unit 3 for
more detail).
. Shaping materials
This includes removing material by filing, turning on a lath,
chiselling, planing, sanding and surforming; cutting material by
using saws, scissors, knives or cutters and drilling material by using
a hand drill, a brace and bit, a power hand drill and a bench drill.
. Assembling and joining materials
This includes measuring, marking out and cutting simple forms in a
variety of materials and joining them using a range of techniques
such as: soldering, screws, nuts and bolts, riveting, nails, seams in
fabrics and adhesives. Different types of joints may be formed:
mechanical, glued, knock-down, zips, press studs, Velcro, buttons,
ribbon, buckles and hinges.
. Using simple finishing techniques to improve surfaces
There are a variety of finishing techniques that may be used to
improve the surface of products, for instance: sanding, dip-coating,
painting, staining and varnishing.

. Working to a high degree of precision

This is done in order to ensure that the products are reliable and
robust and that they comply with the quality requirements and
details as specified in the design document.

Making/manufacturing a prototype of the preferred solution

Technological process:
Step: Making

Adapt !
Good Planning for making


Precision work Shaping materials

Finishing surfaces Assembling and joining

2.7.3 Making projects

Project 1: Portfolio file

Design and make a portfolio file that would represent your work done
for the activities in the study guide.

The portfolio file should be designed to show that you have achieved
the outcomes and attempted all the different kinds of activities as
specified in the study guide.
The portfolio file should be designed to show that you have mastered
all the steps in the technological process.
The portfolio file could include your assignments because they are
compiled from the activities in the study guide.
The portfolio file should include a contents page and clear divisions
between the different categories of contents.
The rest is left up to you be innovative and imaginative.
27 FDETE1-A/1

Project 2: Complete portfolio

This is an abbreviated portfolio example to give you an indication of
what should be included in a portfolio of a particular project.
Consult the sheet 12 Card and paper: pop-up cards under Making
projects in study unit 5.
Use these examples and formulate your own problem that would have
such a product as the solution to the problem.
Now follow all the steps in the technological process to solve your
problem and compile a portfolio that records exactly what you have
done by using the following headings:
1 Analyse the problem, need or want
2 Design and develop alternative solutions
3 Plan for the realisation of the optimum solution
4 Make a prototype of the optimum solution
5 Evaluate the implementation of the design and prototype
6 Present information for report and/or marketing purposes

You could for instance use a different page for each of the steps and
include the prototype that you made in step 4. Use your imagination
but see to it that the completed portfolio of the project would enable a
group of learners to follow your arguments and duplicate the project on
their own.

Project 3: Music instruments

(material selection and shaping, tools)
Consult the sheets 112 Sounds: plucking and blowing and 113
Sounds: shaking, scraping and hitting in Making projects as stated
above. For this project you need to have access to a basic workshop
with work space and basic tools such as a hammer, a saw, a set of
pliers, etc to be able to make instruments similar to those on the above-
mentioned sheets.
Design and make at least one instrument from each one of the
categories: plucked instruments, blown instruments, shakers, scrapers
and hitting. Your designs should be at such a level that you could
expect learners in a school situation to duplicate the project.
Remember to follow all the steps in the technological process and
record them in a portfolio.

Project 4: Mechanism with a control system

Consult the sheet 86 Movement: watercraft 1 in Mechanisms and
control systems in study unit 5.
Design a control system to control the movement of the boat (depicted
at the top right corner of the above mentioned sheet) so that it will

move in circles. Then make a similar boat including your control

system. Remember to follow all the steps in the technological process
and record them in a portfolio.

Project 5: Structures
Consult the sheets 89 Paper straws: fixed joints and 90 Paper straws:
moving joints in Making projects and Structures in study unit 5.
Design and make any familiar structure such as a bridge or a house that
will be a demonstration of the different methods that can be used to
strengthen the structure.
Your design should be at such a level that you could expect learners in
a school situation to duplicate the project. Remember to follow all the
steps in the technological process and record them in a portfolio.

NB: Improvisation
From the above-mentioned projects it should be clear that the emphasis
is on using existing and available materials (especially waste materials)
and that your learners should be able to duplicate the designs and make
the products. Improvisation is the name of the game let us keep the
Technology learning area a fun learning area.

Making Activity (6)

. Consult: Making projects, as stated above (2.7.3), and the data files
for Making projects as shown at the end of this study guide (Unit 5).
. Use the brief and specifications as supplied in Project 1 and make
your own portfolio file.
. Keep a record of what you do because this project will form part of
one of the assignments that you will have to submit for evaluation.


Glover (1995:26) lists a number of criteria for evaluating a design (or
the prototype of a design) and says that a good design should not only
meet the requirements as specified in the brief of the problem, but it
should also deliver the best value for money in terms of performance,
finish and reliability. The reason for evaluating a particular design or
for comparing similar designs stems from the need to improve the
designs, and also from the need for people in society to acquire the
skills which will empower them to operate as confident and discerning
consumers and users of technology.

2.8.1 Formative evaluation

Formative or continuous evaluation is an integral part of the
29 FDETE1-A/1

technological process. During evaluation the information gathered and

the documents produced during the preceding steps should be
consulted and evaluated continuously. In figure 2, which depicts the
technological process, formative evaluation would correspond with the
dotted lines linking the other steps with the evaluation step.
Because of the cyclical nature of the technological process, measuring
and checking procedures should be developed and applied as the work
develops during each of the steps in the technological process. These
evaluation procedures should indicate ways of improving the design of
the product, process or system under consideration. Depending on the
circumstances, specific evaluation procedures should be devised for
each particular project. This may lead to the proposal of alternative
methods of proceeding and the adaptation of manufacturing methods to
changing circumstances, if first attempts at implementing the design
should fail. Naturally, good reasons should be provided for any
deviations from the specifications in the original design proposal.
Formative evaluation throughout the technological process and
especially during the design phase is essential to ensure adherence to
the original brief, to provide quality assurance and to prevent a large
amount of work from having to be repeated because it does not comply
with the specifications.

2.8.2 Summative evaluation

Summative evaluation refers to evaluation procedures which are
applied at the end of a process or after completion of a project. In
figure 2, which depicts the technological process, this would
correspond to step 5 in the cycle. The purpose of summative evaluation
is to evaluate a final product, process or system or to compare similar
products, processes or systems. The basic principles for developing
evaluation procedures are similar for both formative and summative

2.8.3 Developing an evaluation procedure

Before starting an evaluation, whether it is a formative evaluation or
summative evaluation, one should develop the procedures that will be
followed. This prevents the evaluation process from becoming a useless
combination of opinions or a collection of negative criticism. The
evaluation process should always be directed (by the evaluation
procedures) at the following positive outcomes: quality control,
improvement, comparison and appraisal.
When developing an evaluation procedure one needs to make
decisions about:
. what needs to be evaluated the product, its components, its
functions, its appearance, its durability, or the context, design, and
process involved
. why it needs to be evaluated to ensure quality, to check it against

the specification, to improve it, to compare it with other products,

and so on.
. how it is to be evaluated by testing it physically, by observing its
performance, by doing a market test on it, or in other ways.
. when it is to be evaluated after each design or production phase,
during the phases or at the end of the design or production phases.
. which evaluation criteria will be applicable See the list of
criteria below.
. what the format of the evaluation report will be See next
section on presentation.

All these decisions need to be taken against the background of the brief,
the design document, the specification and the working drawings. The
following are some of the aspects that should be included as criteria
when developing evaluating procedures:
. Appropriateness How well does the design meet the requirements
with regard to the problem, need or want as set out in the original
brief? Is the design appropriate for the intended society?
. Functionality Does the design meet its operational criteria? Is it
overdesigned? Is it underdesigned?
. Aesthetics Does it look good? Do factors such as shape, colour,
texture, proportion and pattern combine to create an acceptable
image or style?
. Ergonomics Does the design incorporate the physiological, socio-
logical and psychological considerations that are necessary for a
comfortable human-product interface?
. Energy usage and recyclability Does the design make economical
use of energy resources? Does the design make use of recycled
materials where appropriate?
. Ecologically friendly Have the necessary precautions been taken
to ensure that the solution does not pose any threat to the
environment in general or to any endangered environment or
. Safety Is the solution safe to use? Does this apply to all situations
where the particular product, process or system may be used?
. Cost Have the costs of the design regarding production time,
production equipment, repair and maintenance been balanced
against requirements with regard to product quality and the needs
of the market for which it is intended?
. Comparison with existing products, processes or systems Does
the design compare favourably with existing products, processes or
systems in the market place?
. Durability Does the length of time for which the product, process
or system can perform its designed function correspond with its
intended term of usage?
. Obsolescence Does the intended life cycle (introduction, growth,
maturity, decline) of the design correspond to the expectations and
needs of the customers and other similar designs? Will it be easy to
replace the product, process or system with a new one?
31 FDETE1-A/1

Evaluating the implementation of the prototype

Technological process:
Step: Evaluating

Adopt !
Good Evaluation procedure

Formative evaluation

Evaluation report Summative evaluation

2.8.4 An example of a product check list

FIGURE 7 (a)
An example of a chec klist




DESCRIPTION ................. .................. .................
(Mark) (Mark) (Mark)

Cost 2 2 2

Durability 2 3 2

Functions 2 3 1

Dependability 3 1 2

TOTAL 9 9 7

It should be easier to make an informed choice with regard to which

product to buy by comparing the information of the different products

in the table. If dependability is very important for a particular

situation, it should be obvious that you would choose product 1
although both products 1 and 2 scored the same total. Check lists for
other purposes can be compiled in a similar way.

Evaluating Activity
. Compile a check list of criteria for the evaluation of the portfolio file
you have made in Making activity (6).
. Design an evaluation procedure and evaluate the portfolio file that
you have made by using your check list of criteria and writing an
evaluation report.
. Keep your check list and the evaluation report in a portfolio


Although this is the last step in the technological process, it is an
important one. What is the use of a good idea or an excellent design if
nobody knows about it, or if it is not implemented because relevant
information was not presented or communicated effectively?
The most important aspect to remember in this regard is that the
presentation or communication of information for report or marketing
purposes also needs to be designed. In practice the process of designing
for presenting or communicating information is very similar to the
technological process depicted in figure 2.

The Media presentation design process

The following media design process for presenting and communicating
information is an extension of the systematic approach to problem
solving depicted in figure 1. The similarities to the technological
process as discussed in the preceding paragraphs should be clear.
Most of the guidelines mentioned in the discussion of the technological
process are also applicable to the media design process. The media
design process for presenting or communicating information can be
described by the following cyclical and interrelated steps:

The media design process

. a situation analysis with the aim of determining the possibilities and
constraints regarding presentation and communication
33 FDETE1-A/1

. a target group analysis in order to identify similarities and

differences which need to be taken into account when presenting
or communicating the information
. a needs assessment to determine what the information needs of the
target group are, and what type of presentation would be appropriate
. the setting of objectives to clarify what the purpose of presenting or
communicating the information should be
. the selection of appropriate media to comply with the requirements
indicated by the previous steps
. the integration of different media to avoid fragmentation and to
ensure that the presentation or communication forms an integrated
. the selection and structuring of the content to suit the selected
media and to serve as guidelines in the following steps to ensure a
fluent and consistent presentation
. the programming of the content structure to suit the character-
istics of the selected media
. visualisation and sounding to suit the properties of the selected
. the design of the presentation in the form of a storyboard (or script)
to be used as production and evaluation guidelines
. the production of the media to be combined to form the presentation
. the evaluation of the presentation before implementation
(Potgieter 1992:121)

A simplified version of the media design process is depicted in figure 8.

This process is not that different from the process that should be
followed when designing the media to be used in any learning
programme or lesson to be presented in a classroom.

As you know, there are many different presentation techniques that can
be used to communicate information for educational, business or
entertainment purposes. These include overhead transparencies,
photographs, video programmes, pamphlets, brochures, posters,
drawings and diagrams. They all, however, have to be designed
properly in order to ensure effective communication (Bagshaw

More information on presentation techniques can be found in the

Graphics section in study unit 5

Present information for report and/or marketing purposes

Technological process:
Step: Presenting/

Adapt !
Good Analyse target group


Evaluate presentation Set objectives

Design/produce media Select content

Select media Visualise content

Presenting Activity (8)

. Use all the information and documents you have gathered so far for
your portfolio file, including the portfolio file itself, and prepare a
presentation of your work which shows how you have applied all the
steps in the technological process.
. Use the presentation as an example to show to the audience in the
speech you prepared in Written activity (1). Consult the section
``Graphics'' from study unit 5 for ideas on how to present the speech
35 FDETE1-A/1


Technological resources

We are surrounded by many different forms of energy. Light, heat,
electricity, magnetism and sound are some of the forms of energy that
we find around us. It is obvious that a rock falling off a cliff is different
from the same rock lying on the ground below. The rock when it is
falling can dislodge other rocks and cause a landslide. A glowing light
bulb is also different from the same bulb when the electricity is
switched off. The glowing light bulb emits light and heat. The
difference between these situations is caused by energy.
Energy can be defined as the ability to do work. In a physical sense,
work is done when a force is applied to an object and it is moved
through a particular distance.
The falling rock possesses energy because it has the ability to do work.
It can exert a force on another rock and move it through a distance.
The electric current flowing through the light bulb causes the particles
in the element to move faster and through larger distances. Again, work
is done. In the process energy in the form of electricity is transformed
into movement energy, which in turn is transformed into light and heat
energy that is emitted from the light bulb (Garret 1995:273; Kent &
Ward 1983:4).

Outcomes for study unit 3

After completing study unit 3 you will be able to:
. apply the knowledge and skills referred to below to the technological
process in an integrated, responsible and ethical way
. present work done during activities that reflects the acquisition of
knowledge and skills in respect of the nature, functions and
applications of:
energy, materials, tools, safety and information
when applied in the technological process to:
general systems, control systems, structures, and processing,
selecting and evaluating products and systems

3.1.1 Potential and kinetic energy

In general there are two kinds of energy, namely potential energy and
kinetic energy. Potential energy usually refers to energy which has
been stored, resulting in the potential to do work. Kinetic energy on the
other hand refers to a situation where movement supplies the ability to
do work.
A pendulum is an example of the interaction between potential and
kinetic energy. If you apply a force to the ball of a motionless pendulum
by lifting it to one side, you are doing work. This energy is now stored
in the pendulum as potential energy. When you let go of the pendulum,
the gravitational force of the earth pulls at the ball. It starts to swing
down, and the potential energy is converted into kinetic or movement
Similarly the food that you eat or the petrol in a motorbike are forms of
stored (potential) energy that can be used to make you or the motorbike
move (kinetic energy). Potential energy thus changes into kinetic
energy when things start to move.
If a force is applied to compress a spring, the compressed spring
possesses potential energy. The spring performs work in the process of
returning to its natural length. It can, for example, be used to propel a
weight such as the ball in a pinball machine.

From the outcomes formulated for this study unit and from the
rationale for Technology Education indicated in study unit 1 it should
be obvious that Technology Education involves a substantial amount of
scientific knowledge and skills.
To make Technology Education relevant, you should always present it
at a level that your particular learners can relate to. It is important,
therefore, that the scientific knowledge and skills involved in the
examples and problems that you use should correspond to what they
are encountering or have encountered in their other learning areas.
This is particularly important with regard to the Natural Sciences
learning area and the Mathematical Sciences learning area.

3.1.2 Types and sources of energy

There is a large variety of energy resources available which can be
utilised to satisfy our energy needs. Wind energy can for instance be
used to generate electricity and propel sailing boats. Solar energy can
be used to heat water for domestic purposes and even to generate
electricity using solar cells. Gravitational energy can be used to
37 FDETE1-A/1

generate electricity in hydroelectric plants and to distribute water from

dams. A few of the most commonly used types and sources of energy
are discussed in the following paragraphs.

Chemical energy
When certain chemicals are mixed together to form the fuel for
fireworks or rockets, they have potential chemical energy. When the
fireworks explode or the rockets take off, the potential energy is
changed into kinetic energy. These explosions can do work against the
force of gravity; for example, by throwing pieces of material into the
air. A single chemical or a mixture of chemicals with the ability to do
work is said to have chemical energy. Typical examples are petrol and
diesel, which are the fuels that are used as energy sources to power
motor vehicles. Paraffin is also a source of chemical energy. The
chemical energy in paraffin is converted into heat energy when it is
burnt in a primus stove.

Food energy
Food energy is also a form of chemical energy. Through the process of
photosynthesis, plants absorb energy from sunlight and store it as
chemical energy in certain chemicals such as glucose. When we eat
these plants our bodies use the stored energy to flex and contract our
muscles, for instance, and thus do work. Plant-eating animals use the
energy created by photosynthesis to maintain their life processes.
Other animals then eat the plant-eating animals. In this way they gain
access to the energy stored in the chemicals that the plant-eaters
formed from the chemicals in plants. In this way energy is used to
enable living things to move around and thus do work.

Electrical energy
Electrical energy is one of the most versatile kinds of energy in the
modern technological world. Electrical energy stored in batteries is
used for a variety of purposes such as providing the energy to power a
radio-cassette player or turn the starter motor of a car.
The electricity which one buys from Eskom supplies the energy to
operate many labour-saving appliances such as electrical lights, stoves
and refrigerators. Electric current is used to turn motors and drive the
machinery of appliances such as power drills, vacuum cleaners and
automatic dishwashers.

Electromagnetic energy
Electromagnetic energy results whenever electric charges move or
when electric or magnetic fields increase or decrease over time. The
motion of these charges and fields causes disturbances which are
called electromagnetic waves, which travel away from the site of the
original electrical or magnetic motion.

Electromagnetic waves consist of growing and collapsing electric and

magnetic fields which are oriented at right angles to one another.
Electromagnetic energy, also referred to as electromagnetic radiation,
can travel across an empty space (vacuum). The wavelengths of
different types of electromagnetic radiation differ from one another.
Light is one form of electromagnetic radiation with a particular range
of wavelengths. The human eye is sensitive to electromagnetic
radiation which corresponds to the wavelengths of light waves only.
The human eye can thus detect light from the sun and the stars as well
as from other sources of light. Other forms of electromagnetic radiation
include radio waves, infrared waves, ultraviolet radiation, X rays and
gamma rays. These forms of electromagnetic radiation have wave-
lengths which are either longer or shorter than light waves and can
therefore not be seen by the human eye. Radio and television
broadcasts are possible because electromagnetic energy can be
transmitted through space.

Heat energy
Heat energy is a very common form of energy. Heat energy is derived
from the motion or kinetic energy of the individual molecules of a
substance. The faster the average motion of the molecules, the higher
the temperature of the system. When more and more heat is applied to
water, the molecules start moving faster and faster. Eventually the
water boils and changes into steam, which is a gas. The steam takes up
much more space than the liquid water does. If the steam is trapped in
a sealed container, it builds up very high pressures. The pressurised
steam can then be released to exert a force and drive turbines that
generate electricity for large cities.

Nuclear energy
The particles in the nuclei of some atoms have the ability to rearrange
themselves spontaneously, and certain particles may even be emitted.
This process is called radioactivity, and some of the energy which is
stored in the atoms is emitted during the process.
In the nuclear reactions used in atom bombs and in fission reactors,
free neutrons bombard uranium atoms. When a neutron hits a uranium
nucleus, the nucleus splits into two smaller nuclei, releasing a great
deal of energy. A chain reaction can begin, causing an explosion. During
the chain reaction, some of the neutrons of the uranium nucleus fly off
and hit other nuclei, causing them to split in two as well, releasing
more energy and more neutrons to continue the process.
In the atom bomb the reaction is allowed to continue uncontrolled,
which results in a very powerful explosion. In fission (or nuclear)
reactors the process is controlled by inserting metal rods in the middle
of the uranium to capture some of the neutrons and slow down the
reaction. In nuclear reactors the energy that is released is used to
generate electricity.
39 FDETE1-A/1

Research Activity (9)

. To broaden your knowledge on the scientific topic of energy, consult
an encyclopaedia and science books in a library.
. Organise a group discussion with other teachers, for instance those
teaching natural sciences, and discuss how the topic of energy can be
made relevant and interesting for the learners. You could, for
instance, discuss activities for learners on topics like energy and the
environment, energy in rural areas, and preventing the waste of
. Write a short report of about two A4 pages on five of the activities
that you identified.

3.1.3 Energy transformation

The fact that one form of energy can be transformed into another form
of energy enables us to use energy in the form which is most
appropriate for a particular situation. The transformation of energy
is a process that happens regularly in everyday life. When a person
opens and closes the door of a car, chemical energy obtained from food
and stored in the body is used. This energy is transformed into elastic
energy in the muscle fibres that enables the muscles to flex and
contract. The elastic energy of the muscles enables the person to apply
a force to the door. The elastic energy is then transformed into kinetic
energy as the door swings open or closed. The banging sound that is
heard when the door is closed is an indication that some of the kinetic
energy is even converted into sound energy.
Almost all technological devices have been designed to transform
energy from one form into another. In an internal combustion engine
the chemical energy of the fuel is converted into kinetic energy to move,
say, a car forwards or backwards. In a washing machine, electrical
energy is converted into kinetic energy to churn the clothes around. In
a hydroelectric plant, the kinetic energy of moving water is used to turn
turbines and the kinetic energy is then converted into electrical energy.
The transformation of energy is governed by the universal law of
energy conservation. This law of physics states that the total energy of
an isolated system does not change. The energy within an isolated
system can be redistributed or can change from one form to another,
but the total energy within the system remains the same. Most systems
are, however, not isolated and external forces can influence the
transformation. When this happens the law states that the change in
the energy of the system must be equal to the work done on the system
by the external forces. In short, this means that although the energy in
a particular system can be continuously transformed from one form
into another, the total amount of energy stays the same. This is also the
reason why there is no such thing as perpetual motion. A swing, for
instance, does not keep on swinging once it has been set in motion. It

gradually swings lower and lower until it finally stops. The reason for
this is that with every movement friction causes some of the energy of
the swing to be transformed into heat energy which is lost to the air
molecules surrounding the swing. This process continues until all the
energy that is lost is equal to the original energy of the swing.
It is important to realise that it is not possible to create energy from
nothing. The total amount of energy in the universe stays constant. All
we can do is transform energy from one form into another and
transport energy from one position to another.

Project Activity (10)

. Consult project 2 in section 2.7.2 ``Making projects'' in study unit 2.
You will see that, as an example, a complete portfolio has been
developed for project 2.
. Use the example to design your own solution to the problem of
transforming elastic energy into mechanical energy by making a
simple mechanism driven by an elastic band.
. Complete the whole technological process and compile your own
portfolio of about two A4 pages.

3.1.4 Energy storage and distribution

Several ways have been devised to store energy. The way in which
energy is stored depends largely on the properties of the particular
form of energy. Dams, for instance, are built in rivers to enable us to
use the kinetic energy of the moving water, when it is released, to flow
through turbines which turn electrical generators. Chemical energy is
stored in batteries where it is transformed into electrical energy to
power radios or turn the starter motors of cars.
Elastic energy can be stored by stretching or winding up an elastic
band to power a model aeroplane or a catapult. As mentioned earlier,
elastic energy can be stored in a spring by either compressing or
stretching the spring. Big flywheels are used to store kinetic energy in
machines to prevent the engines from being overloaded when they are
Electricity can be stored by charging a capacitor. When the electric
charge is needed, the capacitor can be discharged to produce an
electric charge on demand. Solar energy can be stored by transforming
it into electrical energy by means of a solar cell and then storing the
electrical energy by charging a battery. The battery can be used to
power one of the emergency telephones we find on our toll roads.
Wind energy can be stored in a similar way by using a windmill to turn
a generator which in turn charges a battery. In this process wind
energy is transformed into kinetic energy which in turn is transformed
41 FDETE1-A/1

into chemical energy in the battery. When the battery is then used to,
say, power the lights in a farmhouse, the chemical energy is
transformed into electrical energy which in turn is transformed into
light and heat energy.
When energy is transformed or transported, it is rarely possible to
prevent some energy from being lost to the atmosphere through friction
and heat loss. Heat energy stored in the water in a geyser can be
transported using galvanised pipes. To prevent a large amount of heat
energy from being lost to the atmosphere from the pipes, insulating
rags can be wound around them.
When electrical energy is distributed along electrical wire, some of the
energy is lost because of the resistance of the electrical wire. To
conserve as much electrical energy as possible, copper wire is used
because it has a low resistance. The diameter of the wire also
influences the resistance of the wire. Thin wire has greater resistance
than thick wire. Electricity has a particular advantage because it can be
distributed efficiently over large distances by using either insulated
underground cables or overhead transmission lines made of copper

3.1.5 Energy resources

As mentioned previously, it is not possible to create energy from
nothing. As technology developed we devised different ways of using
energy to do work for us. At first primitive people did all their work
themselves, for instance they used their hands to gather wood for
heating purposes and carried it to their homes. Later they used
domesticated animals to pull first a sled and then a cart or a wagon to
transport the wood. The idea was to spend as little energy as possible
to move a particular source of energy to where it was needed to be
used. As technology developed, the steam engine and later the internal
combustion engine were invented for the same purpose of moving or
transporting materials, goods and people.
The basic resources that industries use today as a basis for energy are
fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil. The electricity that is used in
industry and domestically is generated by burning coal and oil to
generate steam which is then used to power electrical generators. The
internal combustion engines used to power different types of motor
vehicles all use some derivative of oil such as petrol or diesel as a
source of energy. Unfortunately, fossil fuel reserves are finite. These
reserves will become depleted in the not too distant future. The same is
true of wood, which is still used by many people for heating purposes.
Another disadvantage of using these kinds of energy resources is the
large amounts of pollution that are released into the atmosphere when
they are burnt. It is important therefore that these energy resources be
used not only sparingly but also effectively and efficiently. It is also
important that we investigate other energy resources such as hydro-
electric energy, wind energy, solar energy and even nuclear energy as

alternatives for our energy needs. The possibilities of solar energy in

particular should be investigated thoroughly. Solar energy is available
in large amounts when the sun is shining and it is available
everywhere, but we need to use it more effectively.

Design Activity (11)

. Ask a few people to join you in a design team to solve the rural energy
problem. It could become a really fun project if you ask a few
learners and some of their parents to join you on the design team!
. Use your written brief for the rural energy problem to brief your
design team about what the problem is. Then lead them through all
the phases of the design process.

Throughout history people have been using different kinds of materials
to make artefacts and articles to solve problems and satisfy needs and
wants. In the distant past people used naturally occurring materials
such as bone, wood, stone, clay, vegetation and animal hide. At a later
stage, they discovered how to use metals, glass, textiles, concrete and
As technology developed, more and more sophisticated materials were
invented such as stainless steel and aluminium alloys, plastics,
polymers, carbon fibre, Kevlar and Teflon. When designing, one of
the most important aspects to consider is the selection of the most
appropriate materials to use to solve a particular problem or satisfy a
need or a want. When selecting materials, one needs to know the types
and sources of materials that are available. One also needs to know
what their general properties are and how they can be shaped, joined,
assembled and have their surfaces finished off.
Textiles, wood, metals, plastics and inorganic materials such as glass,
clay and concrete are some of the most commonly used materials. In
the paragraphs that follow the properties of some of these materials are
discussed in more detail (Garret 1995:196).

3.2.1 Types, sources and properties of materials

We now discuss a few of the most commonly used materials in more
detail. It is, however, important to note that a large variety of different
materials is available in the market place. As technology progresses,
new materials are developed and old materials are put to new uses.
During the design phase of the technological process it is necessary to
consider all the appropriate materials that are available.
43 FDETE1-A/1

Textiles are fabrics that are knitted, woven or bonded from natural or
synthetic fibres. Usually the fibres are spun into yarns or threads that
are knitted or woven together, but fibres are also converted directly
into a felt or bonded fibre fabric by compressing the fibres or using
adhesives, coatings or other types of backings. Knitted fabrics can
usually be stretched considerably and are very flexible. Woven fabrics
are stronger but are less stretchable and flexible while bonded fabrics
are even stronger and much less flexible. Knitted fabrics are made by
linking rows of yarn or thread together with interconnecting loops.
These interconnecting loops straighten and extend when stretched.
Knitted fabrics are used for clothing, hosiery and stretchable shade
cloth. Woven fabrics, on the other hand, are formed by interlacing
fibres at right angles to give a strong and stable structure. Woven
fabrics are used where strength is important for clothing, bags, canvas
and sailcloth. Bonded fabrics are used for filters, hats, dust cloths,
protective clothing and carpets (Glover 1993:73).

Wood can be used in its natural form or it can be processed into
different wood products such as plywood, chipboard, blockboard,
hardboard, cardboard and paper. In its natural form, wood is usually
used as solid timber. Hardwoods are used for outdoor constructions
and durable furniture. Softwoods are used for general internal
constructions and furniture, where they are not directly exposed to
extreme weather conditions. Plywood is made by gluing together thin
sheets of wood with the grains at right angles to give extra strength. It
is used for toys, interior doors, the bottoms of drawers and the sides of
cupboards. To make blockwood, strips of evenly planed wood are glued
together and then covered with a very thin layer (veneer) of wood to
enhance its appearance. Blockwood is strong and is used extensively
for doors and furniture. Chipboard is made by mixing flakes or chips of
wood (wood cuttings waste material) with glue and compressing the
mixture into flat boards. Chipboard is cheap, not very strong and
rather brittle, which makes it difficult to shape and join. It is used for
kitchen cabinets and other furniture and is often covered with a veneer
to improve its appearance. Hardboard is made by compressing glued
pulped wood fibres together into thin sheets. Hardboard sheets are
used as a cheap covering for large flat areas such as the backs of
(Glover 1993:67; Keyser 1997:373).

Metals are found in the earth's surface as ore which needs to be refined
into pure metals. There are mainly two types of metals, namely ferrous
metals that consist mainly of iron and nonferrous metals which do not

contain iron. Because of their relatively low cost, ferrous metals are
widely used, in spite of the fact that they corrode or rust easily and
thus need to be protected by a covering such as paint.
Ferrous metals include cast iron. Because it is so hard and brittle, it is
difficult to shape or machine this metal. Car engines, bench vices and
lathes are made of cast iron by casting the molten metal into moulds to
produce the finished product. Carbon steel is the most commonly used
ferrous metal; its properties change according to the amount of carbon
that is added to the iron when it is melted.
Low carbon steel contains approximately 0.25% of carbon, giving it the
relatively soft and workable properties of mild steel. It is used for
applications such as sheet metal for automobile body parts and tin
cans. It is also used for machinable parts such as nuts and bolts and for
structural sections such as flat iron bars, round iron bars, angle iron
bars, U-beams, H-beams and I-beams.
High carbon steel contains approximately 1% of carbon, giving it the
relatively hard, strong and ductile properties of tool steel. It can be
hardened by using heat treatment, and it is therefore used to make
tools and dies. Stainless steel is a very hard steel which is made
corrosion resistant by adding chromium. It is used for marine fittings,
kitchen sinks and cutlery.
The most commonly used nonferrous metals are aluminium, copper and
brass. There are many other nonferrous metals such as lead, tin, zinc
and duralumin alloy. Aluminium is a soft, easily workable and
lightweight metal. It is corrosion resistant, and because it is a good
conductor of heat it is used for cooking pans, boats, door frames,
window frames, cooking foil and food packaging. Copper is a good
conductor of heat and electricity. It is tough, can be shaped easily and
is used for hot water pipes and cylinders, electrical wires or cables and
for waterproof flashing on roofs. Brass is an alloy of copper (65%) and
zinc (35%) that is harder than both copper and zinc. It is corrosion
resistant, is easily worked and joined, and conducts heat and
electricity well. It is usually used for castings for boats, light fittings
and door fittings (Glover 1993:69; Keyser 1997:203; Rollason

There are two main categories of plastics. Thermoplastics are usually
pliable and can be softened and reshaped using heat. Thermosetting
plastics are more rigid, set hard when made and cannot be reshaped
when heated.
A wide variety of thermoplastic products with different properties is
available on the market, and a few of these products are discussed
here. Acrylic or Perspex is hard and brittle and is used for signs,
lighting fixtures and glazing in safety-sensitive areas. Polystyrene is
stiff, light, hard and brittle and is used for food containers, food
45 FDETE1-A/1

utensils, toys and film. Expanded polystyrene is very light, can float, is
a good heat and sound insulator but is mechanically weak. It is mostly
used for packaging, insulation boards and the bodies of surfboards.
Rigid PVC (polyvinylchloride) is stiff, hard, tough, light, has good
chemical resistance and is a good electrical insulator. It is used for
guttering, electrical conduits, shoe soles and even window frames.
Plasticised PVC is soft, flexible and a good electrical insulator, and is
used for water hoses, imitation leather, wire insulation and floor
coverings. Nylon (polyamide) is hard, tough, wear resistant and has a
high melting point, making it suitable for gears, bearings, electrical
equipment, curtain rails and fabrics.
Polyester resins are examples of thermosetting plastics. Polyester resin
is stiff, brittle, has high strength, bonds easily to other surfaces and
wears well. It is used widely for boats, baths, surfboard coverings and
luggage boxes, and is reinforced by using glass fibre matting. Epoxy
resins are high in strength, bond well with other surfaces, do not
conduct electricity, are wear and heat resistant and are widely used as
adhesives or when reinforced to form strong containers and structures.
Melamine formaldehyde is hard, strong, nonpoisonous, heat resistant,
wear resistant, stain resistant and is widely used for kitchen and other
worktops, laminations and kitchen utensils (Glover 1993:71; Keyser

Concrete is a mixture of sand, stone, cement and water which hardens
or sets over a period of time as it dries out. Concrete can be formed into
different shapes to make rigid structures such as building blocks,
foundations, floors and, when reinforced, beams, lintels and large
building structures (Keyser 1997:295).

Research and writing

Activity (12)

. Consult the section ``Materials'' in study unit 5 and find the table
titled: Properties of materials. You will see that the table is only
partially completed.
. Have a look around your school and in the vicinity of your school,
and identify the most commonly available materials. Do not forget to
include the waste materials that are found at the school, in the homes
of the learners, at local businesses and industries and on nearby
farms. Use the examples in the table as guidelines to find appropriate
. Consult a library, the teachers of technical learning areas, the local
hardware store and so on and complete the table. Remember to
include those materials that are cheap and commonly available in
your particular area, or even waste material such as wood and metal

offcuts (offshoots), used bottles and tins, used packaging material

etc. These materials can be used very effectively by your learners to
complete projects.

3.2.2 Shaping techniques

Over time many different techniques have been devised to mark out,
shape, assemble, join and finish the surfaces of materials to achieve the
desired forms as described by design briefs. When marking out
materials one usually needs to be able to mark out straight lines,
circles, curves and odd shapes. Different tools such as scribers,
marking knives, pencils, try squares, t-squares, rulers, straight edges,
compasses, dividers, French curves and templates can be used to mark
out materials.
When shaping materials one can either remove some of the material,
add more or new material, or deform the material using force or heat.
The following are ways of removing material: cutting, sawing,
snipping, drilling, filing, lathe turning, chiselling, gouging and planing.
Ways to reshape or deform materials include bending, moulding,
vacuum forming, padding, quilting, folding and stretching (Garret
When assembling or joining materials one can use the following
methods: nails, screws, nuts and bolts, adhesives, solder, brazing, pop
rivets, welding, stitching, weaving, knitting or spinning. The joints can
be butt joints, lap joints, gusset joints, knock-down joints or hinge
The surfaces of materials are usually finished off either to protect them
against corrosion and wear or to improve their appearance. Different
materials are finished in different ways using the following techniques:
glass paper sanding for wood, emery paper or emery cloth sanding for
metals, buffing, dip-coating, painting, staining, varnishing, enamelling
and polishing.

3.2.3 Selection
There are many factors which should be considered when selecting the
appropriate materials for a particular project. When selecting
materials questions should be asked about:
. the function of the intended project
. the required properties of the finished product
. how the materials and components are to be joined and assembled
. how the surfaces of the final product need to be finished
. what the appearance and texture of the finished product needs to be
. what safety requirements need to be adhered to
. what the constraints are with regard to cost and availability of
. what impact the production process, the final product and the
47 FDETE1-A/1

materials used will have on the environment and the society where it
is to be produced, used and disposed of

Properly selected materials have the required mechanical, thermal,

electrical, radiational, optical and chemical properties and thus ensure
product quality. The availability and depletion of resources and the
recycling potential of materials should obviously also be taken into
consideration when selecting materials (Garret 1995:196; Glover

The story of the development of tools is a record of the constant effort
of people to use technology to solve problems and satisfy needs or
wants. People started by using their hands as tools to grasp and move
objects, for instance wood and stone. They made further strides in tool
development when they became dissatisfied with using natural objects
as tools. By chipping, scraping, and smoothing natural objects, people
designed tools to do particular tasks. This enabled them to do more
work and to do it better, and this resulted in the appearance of crude
hammers, chisels, drills, saws, axes, picks and knives. With these tools
people built houses and made more advanced tools. With the discovery
of metals such as copper and iron, which replaced wood and stone as
the tool-making materials, tools lasted longer and were stronger. Today
a wide variety of tools is available, ranging from hand tools to
sophisticated machine tools. It is not possible to describe all the
different types of tools that are available today and their uses, and we
therefore list only the most commonly used measuring and layout or
marking tools (Barker 1995:15).
Measuring tools: steel ruler, folding carpenter's ruler, cloth tape ruler,
retractable metal tape ruler, spring divider, inside calliper, outside
calliper, Vernier calliper, protractor, centre square etc.
Layout and marking tools: compass, trammel points, French curve,
flexible curve, sliding T-bevel, punch marking gauge, metal scriber,
centre punch, awl, pantograph, chalk line, combination square,
framing square, carpenter's level and plumb bob.
Most other tools can be classified as follows: hammers and mallets;
hatchets and nail pullers; drills, drill guides, drill stands and drill
accessories; screwdrivers; pliers; spanners and wrenches; vices;
clamps; knives, snips and scrapers; handsaws; jigsaws and reciprocat-
ing saws; scroll saws; band saws; circular saws; table saws; radial arm
saws; hand planes; spokeshaves and drawknives; power planers and
jointers; routers; mechanical fasteners; chisels, gouges and lathes; files
and rasps; sanding tools; wall covering tools; painting tools; soldering
tools; sheet-metal tools; metal bending and cutting tools; concrete
working tools; masonry tools and bricklaying tools. When you or your
learners are using tools, you need to be prepared for accidents, and you

must be able to administer first aid where necessary. The guidelines of

the National Occupational Safety Association (NOSA) contain important

In the technological world we live in, one of the challenges is to be able
to use technological developments safely without damaging our health
in any way. Safety measures are those efforts and precautions that we
take to lessen or to eliminate the hazardous conditions that cause
accidents. Safety can be learnt, and it is possible to predict and take
steps to prevent the majority of accidents. Most accidents are caused
by a lack of knowledge, carelessness, neglect or a lack of appropriate
To work safely in a technological environment one needs to be educated
about different types of technological activities and to learn about any
hazards associated with a particular activity. If you are informed,
prepared and confident, and able to use your common sense, you know
what steps to take to lessen or avoid hazards and, if you are careful,
you can avoid most accidents. These principles should not be applied
only to the housekeeping, organisation and management of the
technological environment but also in everyday life. This involves
appropriate behaviour, dress and procedures when using technological
products, especially tools, equipment and materials. Most accidents
are caused by the users' ignorance and carelessness and not by the
products themselves. Some of the products that are most commonly
involved in accidents are: sports and recreational equipment; home
furnishings and fixtures; personal-use items; space heating, cooling
and ventilating appliances; home construction materials; stairs, ramps,
landings and floors (causing injury during falls); bicycles and bicycle
accessories; cutlery and tools. Defects in products that cause accidents
may involve faulty materials, manufacturing, and packaging. Tools,
machines, chemicals, electricity, radiation and poorly designed work-
places are all potential causes of accidents. There are a number of
safety guidelines that we should follow in the workshop. Workshop
furniture, materials, tools and equipment should be arranged in such a
way that nobody is endangered when fetching them or working with
them. The safety procedures, operating instructions, emergency stop
buttons, First Aid cabinets, ventilation system and protective clothing
should be clearly marked and displayed. The workplace should always
be kept tidy, and material, tools and equipment not in use should
always be returned to their respective storage places.
Safe working behaviour rules for the workplace should be adhered to.
Safe walking areas should be marked clearly, no running should be
allowed, and people should not be distracted in any way when they are
using power tools. Loose clothes and hair should be tucked away safely
before entering the workplace. The necessary protective clothing for all
situations should always be available. This should include protection
49 FDETE1-A/1

for the body, head, eyes, ears, face, hands, feet and the respiratory
system. The guidelines recommended by NOSA which we mentioned
earlier are a good starting point to ensure workshop safety (Glover

Research and making

Activity (13)
. Consult project 3 in section 2.7.3 ``Making projects'' in study unit 2.
This project is aimed at developing your knowledge and skills with
regard to material selection, material shaping and tools. You need to
have access to the tools and equipment specified in the introduction
to the project.
. As you progress you are expected to have photographs taken of you
working on the different stages of the project. You must also take
close-up photographs of the articles that you have made at the stages
indicated in the instructions for the project. Keep the articles and the
photographs, as they will be used as part of your assessment.

3.5.1 Types of systems
In general, when we say that someone has a system for doing
something, we mean that he or she has an organised plan or a method.
More specifically, systems can be said to be sets of related activities,
objects or parts which work together as a whole to perform particular
functions. In our technological world there are many different types of
systems. There are, for instance, mechanical systems such as wind-
pumps which use wind energy and a system of mechanical parts that
work together to perform the function of pumping water from a well.
There are electronic systems such as the alarm systems used by shop
owners to alert them when intruders enter their premises. There are
economic systems such as the banking system or the stock exchange
system. There are production systems where raw materials are
processed into the food products we can buy off the shelves in a shop.
The computer which was used to create this tutorial matter is an
example of an information technology system. The word processing,
database, spreadsheet and graphic programs used on a computer are
examples of information processing systems. Management systems are
found in companies where people need to be organised to perform a
variety of tasks and to assign responsibilities. Telecommunication
systems include telephone systems and satellite communication
systems. In all these systems a particular resource (people, material,

energy, money, information, time, etc) is processed (designed, made,

managed, marketed, etc) to deliver some or other product or perform
some or other function.

3.5.2 Open and closed loop systems

Most systems can be described as having an input, a process and an
output. When you press a door bell, for instance, you are making an
input by closing an electronic circuit. The door bell system then uses
that input and causes a bell to ring as an output. Because there is no
feedback from the output back to the input, this is called an open loop
system. Under certain circumstances, systems include feedback loops
from the output which can influence either the input or the process
itself. These systems are called closed loop systems. An example of a
closed system is an automatic electric kettle. When the kettle is
switched on it starts to heat the water. When the water starts to boil a
sensor detects the high temperature of the steam or the water, and it
then switches off the power. The system thus uses the feedback from
the output (boiling water) to determine when the power (input) should
be switched off.

Graphical representation of systems


People Design Products
Energy Make Processes

! Material Manage Artefacts
Money Organise
Tools Finance
Time Market



In figure 9 open loop systems are depicted by the process linked by the
dark arrows only and closed loop systems are depicted by the process
linked by both the dark and the shaded arrows. During the feedback
loop, control systems can come into play and change or adapt the input
or the process if necessary (Bagshaw 1991:111).
51 FDETE1-A/1

3.5.3 Simple mechanisms

There are a variety of simple mechanisms that can be used to gain
mechanical advantage, transfer movement and change one kind of
movement into another. These mechanisms enable mechanical systems
to change the direction of movement, the distance of movement, the
speed of movement, the amount of force applied, the direction that
force is applied in and so on (Bagshaw 1991:29).
The most commonly found mechanisms are: the inclined plane, levers,
hinges, cams and cranks, wheels and axles, pulleys, gears, pistons and
cylinders, valves, propellers, belt drives and chain drives.

Consult the section ``Simple mechanisms'' in study unit 5 for a graphic
representation and explanation of the most common simple mechan-
isms and control systems.

3.5.4 Control systems

In closed loop systems there are usually subsystems whose function it
is to control the processes in the overall system according to the
feedback that is received. These systems are called control systems.
One example of a natural control system is the system controlling the
amount of light that enters through the pupil of the eye. When the eye is
exposed to a very bright light, the iris of the eye becomes larger and the
pupil smaller to lessen the amount of light that enters the eye; the
process is reversed in the case of a dim light.
An example of a mechanical control system is the method that is used to
control the pressure in a pressure cooker. The pressure in a pressure
cooker is controlled by a weight and a valve. As the pressure increases
the weight is lifted by the steam and the valve is opened to release some
of the pressure. As the pressure decreases the weight drops down again
and closes the valve. This continuous process controls or regulates the
pressure so that it stays within predetermined limits.
The thermostat of a car radiator is another example of a mechanical
control system. The thermostat is a spring loaded valve that is closed at
low temperatures. As the temperature rises, one of the parts of the
thermostat expands and opens the valve to allow cooling water to flow
through the engine.
At certain level crossings there are sensors that can detect when a train
is approaching. The system that switches on the warning lights and
lowers the booms to prevent people and vehicles from crossing the
railway line is controlled by these sensors.
Sensors play an important role in control systems as they provide the

feedback that is necessary for the control system to determine what the
next step in the process should be. Light sensors are, for instance, used
to trigger street lights to switch on in the evening and off in the
morning, depending on the amount of light that is detected.
There are also sensors that can detect heat, sound, movement,
pressure, magnetism, moisture etc. It is thus possible to monitor many
of the properties of a process by using different sensors.
Quality control systems rely heavily on sensors to be able to monitor
the quality of products on the production line as well as the quality of
completed products.
Many modern systems are controlled with the aid of microprocessors.
Certain of the functions of cars, microwave ovens, washing machines,
alarm systems, telephone systems and so on are controlled by
microprocessors. The feedback information received from different
sensors is used as the input for the microprocessor control system. The
information is processed by the microprocessor, and control signals
are then sent to output devices such as switches, solenoids, relays,
lights and buzzers. These output devices then influence the original
process in such a way that its output is changed (Bagshaw 1991:143).

Project Activity (14)

. Consult project 4 in section 2.7.3 ``Making projects'' in study unit 2.
Also consult the section ``Examples of mechanisms and control
systems'' in study unit 5.
. First make the prescribed simple mechanism, then use the example
in project 4 and design and make your own control system for the
simple mechanism.
. Complete all the steps in the technological process. Remember to
keep all your notes, briefs, design documents etc so that you can
include them in the portfolio for the project.
. Keep your final portfolio for the project and the mechanism with its
control system because they will be used in your assessment.


3.6.1 Types of structures
In general, structure refers to the manner in which parts of a whole are
fitted together. Structures are usually designed to support a load, span
a distance or to enclose, contain or protect a substance or a space.
Structures can be categorised as frame structures, shell structures and
solid structures or as a combination of these types of structures
(Bagshaw 1991:29).
An example of a frame structure is the frame of a swing. The frame of
53 FDETE1-A/1

the swing needs to support the moving weight of a child in the seat of
the swing without collapsing or falling over. Other examples of frame
structures are bicycle frames, chairs, tables, shelves, scaffolding,
metal gates and metal bridges.
Examples of shell structures are pots, cups, milk cartons, tins,
suitcases, motor vehicle bodies and aircraft fuselages.
Examples of solid structures include beams, lintels, dam walls and
reinforced concrete bridges. The basic structural components that are
used to build or make structures are tubes, platforms, columns, beams,
arches, buttresses, stays, guys, struts, ties, blocks, sheets and bricks.

3.6.2 Forces acting on structures

There are basically two types of loads that structures are designed to
support. First we have dynamic loads that move across the structure,
such as a car moving over a bridge. Secondly we have static loads,
such as books standing on a shelf. These loads exert different types of
forces on the structures that support them. There are compression
forces, which tend to push the components of the structure together
and squash the structure. When a weight is placed on top of a pillar, the
weight exerts a compression force on the pillar. Tension forces tend to
stretch a structure and pull the components of the structure apart. A
tension force is exerted on the tow bar when a tractor pulls a plough.
Torsion forces tend to twist a structure in a circular fashion. Torsion
forces are exerted when a tap or the steering wheel of a car is turned.
Bending forces tend to bend a structure in a particular direction.
Bending forces are applied when a weight is placed on top of a beam
between the supports.
Shearing forces are similar to compression forces but here two
opposing forces that are not directly opposite to each other tend to
shear or break the structure. The force exerted on a metal bar when it
is cut by a bolt cutter is an example of a shearing force.
In the case of moving loads, the type of forces that are exerted on
structures and the basic components of the structures change
continuously as the movement takes place.

3.6.3 Stability of structures

The stability of a free-standing structure can be increased by
increasing the size of the base on which it stands or by lowering its
centre of gravity by using a heavy base. The stability of a frame
structure can be increased by reducing all the shapes formed by the
components to triangles. The strength and stability of the materials
used for the components of structures can also be increased by folding
the material into L-shapes, U-shapes, corrugated shapes, triangular
tubes, square tubes, round tubes etc. A similar effect is achieved by
joining flat sections together to form T-shaped and H-shaped bars and

Extra Activity
Consult the section ``Structures and the stability of structures'' in
study unit 5 for examples of:
. the different types of structures
. the effects when forces act on them
. the different methods that can be used to improve the stability and
strength of structures

The activity of changing raw materials into refined materials, finished
products, by-products and waste is referred to as processing.
Processing can take many forms and usually involves the combination,
extraction, conversion and preservation of raw materials to form
usable products. Processing and manufacturing are very similar.
Examples of combining processes are blending, flavouring, assembling,
laminating, soldering, bolting, gluing, dyeing, electroplating and
Examples of extraction processes are bleaching, dehydration, distilla-
tion, washing, cracking and splitting to remove substances.
Examples of preservation are sterilisation, dehydration, salting,
cooking, pasteurisation and refrigeration.
Examples of conversion are fermenting, alloying, hybridising, hammer-
ing, bending, moulding, pressing and casting.
Processing is used to change the nature of materials in ways that will
result in the desired products being produced. The processing of raw
materials usually results in the production of a variety of by-products
and waste products. The by-products should be used effectively and
the waste products should be disposed of in an environmentally safe


Our technological age is characterised by rapid change in all areas.
Having access to and being able to use information has become one of
the tools necessary for us to survive in a very competitive environment.
Technological developments have made it possible for us to collect,
record and analyse the vast amounts of data and information that have
become available.

3.8.1 Data storage and communication forms

There are many ways to collect and store data. For instance, if you
55 FDETE1-A/1

were using design skills to find the solution to a problem or to satisfy a

need or a want, you could use project planning flow charts, project
planning schedules and working specifications to store collected data.
The data, however, only become useful information when they can be
interpreted and analysed. One way of collecting data is to research
existing resources of data such as reports, books, catalogues and even
the Internet. Data can also be collected by performing experiments and
recording the measured and observed results. Interviews and surveys
are other ways of collecting data.
To store and communicate the collected data you could use a verbal,
nonverbal, audio, visual, electronic or a combined form of data storage
and communication. You could, for instance, gather information by
verbally interviewing a number of people and then report back by
reading from the notes that you made during the interviews. You could
also record some of the information by writing it on a flipchart sheet
that can be viewed by the audience.
Another way would be to enter the data into a computer as a report and
send it electronically to whoever may need the information via
electronic mail. Consider the different methods that journalists use to
gather news and then record it on video tape, for instance, to be
communicated at a later stage by broadcasting it as part of a news
programme via satellite television.

3.8.2 Data types

The most commonly used types of data are numerical data, text data
and graphic data. Because of the technological developments in the
field of electronics, these types of data are increasingly being
augmented by the use of visual and audio data that are stored and
communicated electronically. Numerical, text and graphic data can
very easily be stored and communicated by using spreadsheets,
databases and desktop publishing software. The analysis of the data
can then be enhanced by presenting the data in the form of tables, line
graphs, pie charts, bar charts, block charts, flow diagrams etc.

Remember Activity
Remember to consult the section on ``Graphics'' in study unit 5 for
examples of how data can be represented graphically.

Data only become useful information when they can be accessed,

processed and used effectively and efficiently. Accessing data and
information effectively and efficiently means being able to identify the
necessary information, locate the relevant information, observe the
information in an appropriate form and perform research and
statistical procedures on the information. To be able to process data

into usable information we must be able to collate, compare, analyse,

evaluate and communicate the retrieved information. This allows us to
use the information by applying it to relevant situations and to make
decisions about accepting or rejecting the information.


In the technological world of today we are confronted with a wide
variety of products and systems. The designs of these products and
systems may range from simple designs such as paper bags and
dishcloths to very complex designs such as personal computers and
Similarly, the applications of the different products and systems vary
from the very simple to the very complex. The products and systems
also incorporate materials, devices and processes, which could be
natural, mechanical, electric, electromechanical, electromagnetic,
electronic, chemical, thermal, pneumatic, optical etc.
Obviously there is a similarly wide variety of services which are
available to maintain the products and systems or that run parallel to
the products and systems. These services could include a public
transport service, a postal service, a public broadcasting service, a
public works service, a reticulation service and so on. These examples
give an indication of the vast amount of information that we are
confronted with in a technological society, and the resulting need to
develop skills to select and evaluate products and systems in a logical
and articulate way.
When having to select and evaluate products and systems, it is
worthwhile to compile a check list for each product or system that has
to be considered. A selection of the constraints and factors listed below
should be taken into account when making comparisons between
products and systems.
Use these constraints and factors to compile a check list to compare
products and systems:
. cost . value
. aesthetics . ergonomics
. social impact . environmental impact
. materials . durability
. life expectancy . fit for purpose
. availability . maintenance
. functionality . reliability
. appearance . method of manufacture
. storage . finish
. shape . size
. safety cost . waste disposal
57 FDETE1-A/1

Using a check list like the one above can help to enhance a logical and
articulate product and system selection and evaluation procedure. In
general the following procedure can be developed:
. Determine why there is a need to select or evaluate a particular
product or system.
. Derive and prioritise the factors and constraints that may influence
the selection and evaluation of the particular product or system.
. Observe and test the characteristics and functions of a range of
similar products or systems by using a prioritised check list.
. Compile a selection or evaluation report.
(Bagshaw 1991:73)

Evaluating Activity (15)

. Consult section 2.8.4 ``Example of product/service check list'' in
study unit 2.
. Use the example to compile a check list for a product of your own
choice and then evaluate the product using the check list.


Teaching Technology

Against the backdrop of the outcomes-based approach, Technology

Education should be presented (teaching and learning) using a problem
solving, pluralistic and interdisciplinary approach. The methodologies
used to attain knowledge and skill and attitude outcomes should be
progressive, integrated and holistic. The outcomes should provide for
progression and be differentiated according to varying levels of general
orientation, self-critical exercises, design projects and evaluation
projects. Continuous assessment strategies should be applied to
ascertain whether the outcomes have been achieved on an individual
and also a group or team level (DoE 1997b:1722; 2002 & 2003).

Outcomes for study unit 4

After studying study unit 4, you will be able to:
. understand and explain the rationale for C2005 and the Revised
National Curriculum Statement
. know and explain the learning outcomes for Technology Education
. know and use (apply) the learning outcomes and assessment
standards for Technology Education
. develop meaningful learning programmes for Technology Education
. be conversant with classroom/workshop practice for Technology


According to the RNCS (DoE 2002:1), the Constitution of the Republic
of South Africa provides the basis for curriculum transformation and
development in South Africa. You have to familiarise yourself with the
transformation of education in South Africa as recorded in many
documents, including the documents from the Department of Educa-
tion, the HSRC and other sources.
59 FDETE1-A/1

4.1.1 Paradigm shift in education

A paradigm shift in education to Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) was
necessitated by the provision of a democratic order as enshrined in the
constitution of the Republic of South Africa. This OBE is presented in
South Africa as Curriculum 2005. Curriculum 2005 is underpinned by
seven critical outcomes and five developmental outcomes.
According to the RNCS (DoE 2002:1 and DoE 1997b:1427), the critical
outcomes envisage learners who are able to:
. identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and
creative thinking
. work effectively with others as members of a team, group,
organisation and community
. organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and
. collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information
. communicate effectively using visual, symbolic and/or language
skills in various modes
. use science and technology effectively and critically, showing
responsibility towards the environment and the health of others
. demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related
systems by recognising that problem solving contexts do not exist in

The developmental outcomes envisage learners who are also able to:
. reflect on and explore a variety of strategies to learn more effectively
. participate as responsible citizens in the life of local, national and
global communities
. be culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social
. explore education and career opportunities
. develop entrepreneurial opportunities


The Technology learning area is underpinned by three learning
outcomes and relevant assessment standards. These three learning
outcomes are interrelated and are based on the following:
. technological processes and skills
. technological knowledge and understanding
. the interrelationship between technology, society and the environ-

4.2.1 Technology learning outcomes

Learning outcome 1: technological processes and skills

After achieving this outcome, the learner will be able to apply
technological processes and skill ethically and responsibly using
appropriate information and communication technologies.
The design process forms the core of this learning outcome. Refer to the
RNCS document and to study unit 2 on the technological/design
process from your study guide.

Learning outcome 2: technological knowledge and understanding

After achieving this outcome, the learners will be able to understand
and apply relevant technological knowledge ethically and respon-
There are three core content areas in this learning outcome in the
General Education and Training band. They are structures, processing
and systems and control. Refer to the RNCS document and study units
3 and 5 in your study guide for elaboration.

Learning outcome 3: the interrelationship between technology,

society and the environment
After achieving this outcome, the learners will be able to demon-
strate an understanding of the interrelationship between science,
technology, society and the environment.
Learners who achieve this learning outcome will be aware of:
. indigenous technology and culture
. impacts of technology
. biases created by technology

4.2.2 Technology assessment standards

The assessment standards for the Foundation, Intermediate and Senior
phases which are relevant to the three learning outcomes discussed
above can be found in the RNCS document (DoE 2002).

4.2.3 The kind of teacher that is envisaged

Refer to Norms and standards for educators (DoE 1996). Teacher
roles for the Technology learning area are also discussed in Pudi (2005
& 2006). You must be familiar with the definition of roles. Also, it is
important to know the difference between ``role'' and ``function'' in
respect of teachers.

4.2.4 The kind of learner that is envisaged

Refer to the principles and premises of OBE as discussed later in
section 4.3.2 and to the RNCS (DoE 2003:3).
61 FDETE1-A/1

Case Study Activity (16)

. Draw an assessment grid by using the information provided in the
RNCS document for a phase of your choice (Foundation, Intermediate
or Senior phases).
. Use the grid that you have designed to assess the learners' critical
and creative thinking skills in a project that you have completed with
. Write down the shortfalls/shortcomings of your grid.
. How can this grid be improved?


You must know the difference between a learning programme and a
lesson plan.

4.3.1 Meaningful learning programmes

In this section, reference has to be made to the RNCS and the Teacher's
guide for the development of learning programmes (DoE 2003:114).
In order to realise the learning outcomes for the Technology learning
area in the classroom, they need to be further developed into
meaningful learning programmes. We suggest that you organise the
information into a check list as a tool for learning programme
development. Your check list should make provision for all the learning
programme development steps suggested below. The check list should
also include background information on the critical outcomes men-
tioned earlier. Most learning programmes in the Technology learning
area should be structured as projects that include all the steps in the
technological process. You should also adapt the check list to allow for
an integrated cross-curricular approach in those phases where the
Technology learning area has been clustered together with other
learning areas. To do so, you have to combine and integrate learning
outcomes from the different learning areas when developing the
learning programmes.

Steps in learning programme development

Refer to Developing a learning programme in the RNCS document
(DoE 2003:1011).
Illustrations of learning programmes, Options 1 & 2, are shown on
pages 40 to 43.
You are expected to know the difference between learning programme
development and the lesson plan, as we have mentioned. Illustrations
of lesson plans for the Intermediate phase are shown on pages 45 to 46.

Design and Planning

Activity (17)

. Design and plan a learning programme structured as a project by

using any problem that you have done with your learners.
. Use the learning programme check list as a base, and elaborate
where needed.

4.3.2 Learning activities and rning activities and OBE

Technology education is known for being activity based, using a
problem-solving approach and employing continuous assessment with
the inclusion of portfolio assignments (Williams 1992:53). It is not as
obvious and not usually acknowledged that because of the application
of the technological process, there is social justification for the
Technology learning area. This is because learners experience positive
social interaction and integration when working together in groups or
design teams, and have to learn to make decisions together (collabora-
tive decision-making experiences). The learning experiences derived
from these types of activities correlate closely with the basic
assumptions of OBE indicated below.

Basic assumptions of an outcomes-based approach

The outcomes-based approach implies that the teaching methods
and learning activities that are used should be applied in such a
way that learners are actively involved and engaged in critical
thinking, reasoning and reflection.
OBE is learner-centred and the teaching and learning
methods used should include group work, a variety of resources
and enhance the role of the teacher as a facilitator.
Although learners are encouraged to take responsibility for
their own learning, they should nevertheless be motivated by
constant feedback and confirmation.
OBE also implies that the teaching methods and learning
activities should facilitate the integration of knowledge and
ensure that learning is relevant and based on topical, real-life

The basic principles and premises of an outcomes-based approach can

be summarised as follows:

Basic principles
. Design down, deliver up
. Expanded opportunities
63 FDETE1-A/1

. High expectations of standards

. Clarity of focus

Basic premises of the outcomes-based approach

. Every learner can and will learn.
. Success breeds success.
. We control the conditions for success.

These assumptions, principles and premises do not preclude the use of

any particular learning activity, teaching method or teaching strategy.
It is, however, assumed that all the teaching methods and learning
activities that are used will enhance or adhere to the assumptions of
A wide variety of teaching methods and learning activities can be used
for the Technology learning area (Adams 1993:103; Department of
Education 1997b:4355; Hansen 1993:21; Johnson 1996:47).
For the purposes of this course we list only the most appropriate
learning activities for the Technology learning area.
Learning activities directly related to the technological process:
. Remember
. Write
. research . design
. plan . make
. evaluate . market
. present/communicate . do case studies
. compile portfolios . complete projects

Learning activities indirectly related to the technological process:

. explore/investigate . demonstrate
. work in groups/teams . observe
. adapt . brainstorm
. mindmap . identify patterns
. structure . sketch/illustrate
. role play . select
. make models . discuss

Obviously these learning activities should not be seen in isolation. The

teacher also needs to plan how the learning activities will be facilitated
in the classroom. When planning how to assess the learners, the
teacher has to base the assessment methods on the function and nature
of the learning activities that were used by the learners. It is important
to note that learning activities based on the technological process need
to reflect its cyclical nature. A learning activity aimed at developing the

ability to generate alternative solutions during the design phase

therefore needs to be repeated continuously until an optimal solution
is discovered or developed (Shackleford 1996:32).
In such cases the assessment should be based not only on the results
after the whole process has been completed but also on the results
during and after the intermediate repetitions. In cases where the
learners have to try and try again, the assessment of the activities
should focus on the learners' perseverance and the process (Shield
1992:43) that was followed and not only on the results as such (Tickle
et al 1990:29).

Research and Writing

Activity (18)
. Discuss some classroom realities that had an impact on your
planning of the lesson plan. Tabulate these impacts as negative and
positive in your answer.
. Tabulate a few learning activities as directly and indirectly related to
the technological process, and demonstrate (or discuss) how each of
the activities used can be facilitated in the Technology Education


For this topic, please make reference to information in the Revised
National Curriculum Statement, from page 54 to page 66.
Continuous assessment implies that data on the attainment of outcomes
are continuously collected throughout the learning process and not
only at the end of the process or when a particular period of time has
elapsed. The purpose of collecting the assessment data should be to
determine what the learner can do and what the result of the learning
process is (Custer 1996:28).
The main focus of continuous assessment should be the measurement
of practical abilities (performance indicators), such as being able to:
. demonstrate understanding . use initiative
. persevere in a process . work in a team
. produce quality work . communicate
. show responsibility . apply techniques
. write a report . analyse a situation
. solve a problem . design a prototype
. use tools effectively . make a presentation
65 FDETE1-A/1

By clustering particular learning activities and abilities together, we

can develop the following types of assignments, which can be done
either individually or by a group of learners as a team:
. oral assignments
. written assignments
. research assignments
. case study assignments
. planning assignments
. design assignments
. making assignments
. evaluating assignments
. presenting assignments
. marketing assignments
. portfolio assignments
. project assignments

The criteria which are used to compile indicators of performance with

regard to the achievement of outcomes in assignments should also
indicate the level of performance that has been achieved. We should,
for instance, be able to give feedback to a learner who had to complete
a designing activity on the extent to which different ideas were
incorporated into the final design. This could be done using the
following statements to comment on the level of performance:
. only an attempt was made to incorporate the different ideas
. the different ideas were partially incorporated in the design
. all the ideas were incorporated in the design
. an attempt was made to include additional ideas in the design
. a wide range of additional ideas were incorporated in the design

Obviously there are certain circumstances where it is not possible to

make this type of distinction as regards performance indicators. You
can, for instance, either recognise and identify a particular type of
material or not. Under these circumstances it is, however, possible to
give an indication of the level of performance by stating one of the
. The learner does not demonstrate an understanding of the issues
involved, makes frequent errors, is inaccurate and cannot complete
the assignment.
. The learner has some understanding of what the issues are, needs
assistance to complete the assignment, makes only a few minor
errors and needs development.
. The learner demonstrates full understanding of the issues involved,
needs no assistance to complete the assignment, can communicate
effectively and make interpretations in this regard.

Because of the many steps involved and the variety of different

activities that are inherently associated with the technological process,
it lends itself to continuous assessment. The different steps in the
technological process differ from one another and a variety of
assessment methods can be applied. The activities involved in the
technological process are also inherently divided between knowledge-
based, skill-based and attitude or value-based activities. The progres-
sion from having to, for instance, first solve simple problems and later
solve complex problems means the teacher is able to facilitate
assessment at different levels and in a developmental way.
These activities and abilities make it possible to use a wide variety of
assessment methods. The following types of assessment methods, in
accordance with an outcomes-based approach and continuous assess-
ment, can be used:
. self-assessment learners are expected to assess their own
performance in attaining particular outcomes
. individual peer assessment individual learners are expected to
assess the performance of another learner or the performance of a
group of learners as a team
. group peer assessment a group of learners is expected to
collectively assess the performance of an individual learner or a
group of learners
. teacher assessment the teacher is expected to assess the
performance of an individual learner or a group of learners as a team
. outsourced assessment when other people such as members of
the community are involved in a particular project, they could be
asked to assess the performance of an individual learner or a group
of learners as a team
. portfolio assessment a portfolio is an eclectic variety of the work
done by learners which can be a deliberate, strategic and specific
collection of learner work, or evidence of learner work, that
demonstrates that learning has occurred usually with a clear
intent and purpose linked to the learning programme outcomes
(DoE 1997b:2836; DoE 1997c:2538; Eggleston 1996:57)

Obviously the people responsible for a particular assessment should be

informed about the relevant outcomes, assessment criteria, range
statements, performance indicators, measurement methods and mea-
surement scales. They should also understand the different concepts,
know how to implement them in an assessment situation and know and
understand why the assessment is needed (Shackleford 1996:32;
Rogers 1995:73; MacMillan 1995:330).
It should also be made clear that, when assessing achievement
in the Technology learning area, the processes that learners
followed are as important as, if not more important than, the
products of the learning process.
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Design and Evaluation

Activity (19)
. Discuss the role of assessment in Technology Education.
. Design your own assessment sheet for any five of the activities that
are directly and indirectly related to the technological process.
. Discuss five assessment strategies and demonstrate how they can be
used or applied.


The new outcomes-based approach to education and training empha-
sises the active participation of learners, teachers in the role of
facilitators, learning activities, group work and continuous assess-
ment. The implementation of an outcomes-based approach will have a
profound influence on what happens in the classroom.
For instance, to facilitate group work, teachers will have to rearrange
their classrooms to allow learners in a particular group to be able to
face one another. During group work sessions many people will be
talking at the same time in the classroom. The different groups will
have different needs at different times with regard to access to advice
from the teacher, the learning resources and additional space to
perform practical activities.
Obviously there will also be differing needs with regard to how and
when assessment can be done. Add to this the particular nature of the
Technology learning area, which requires the use of a range of different
materials, tools and equipment to make things. It should be obvious
that this could spell disaster if the situation is not managed effectively.
It is important, therefore, that teachers should reflect carefully on the
practical consequences of the activities in the classroom when
developing learning programmes.
Teachers teaching the Technology learning area need to ask themselves
a number of questions about how they will manage the learning
activities and the physical environment.
. How will background information to learning activities be produced
and presented?
. Where will these documents be stored and how will they be
. How will these documents be distributed?
. How will classes be divided into groups?
. How will group leaders be chosen?
. How will basic rules of conduct be decided on?
. How and where will learners' incomplete projects be stored?

. How will the assessment of the different types of activities be

. Do existing classrooms, workshops or studios need to be modified?
. Will new materials have to be ordered and stored?
. Are there enough basic sets of tools to accommodate the maximum
number of groups at a time?
. Are there enough basic sets of learning resources to accommodate
the maximum number of groups?
. Are the existing safety rules and regulations appropriate for the new

This is obviously not a complete list but it is an indication of the type of

questions that need to be asked about classroom management when
teaching technology education. It underlines how important classroom
management is in the technology classroom. Teachers should motivate
learners to take ownership of the classroom management situation by
developing learning activities where they are expected to investigate
the questions and develop alternative solutions that could be
(Eggleston 1996:83)

Planning Activity (20)

. Plan how you would manage the classroom situation if you had to
facilitate project 3 in section 2.7.3.
. Do your planning by first identifying all the relevant questions that
need to be answered and then supplying answers to these questions.


Definition of a portfolio is essential.
Study how portfolios can be used for record keeping and management
of assessment in the RNCS document from pages 53 to 60.

Design and Portfolio

Activity (21)
. Write all the documents that you think are necessary to be included
in a teachers' portfolio, and justify the order of their priority. Also
justify the inclusion of each document in the portfolio.
. Design your own portfolio, which will include all that you have learnt
in this course as well as practical examples of your learners' work
and your classroom management.
69 FDETE1-A/1


Extra resources

The following is my selection of extra resources. You can make use of

any resources that are available to you. In fact, the more resources you
use the better. Our situations are different, so different resources can
be used.
The purpose of these resources is to help you to complete the activities
as set out in this study guide and your assignments, and to use in
practice in your school.

The following graphics pages are from the Datafile for the book Design
and technology Key Stage 3 Core Cambridge University Press. #
1993. Programme director: Howard Bagshaw.
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The following mechanisms and control systems pages are from the
Datafile for the book Design and technology Key Stage 3 Core
Cambridge University Press. # 1993 Programme director: Howard
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The following structures pages are from the Datafile for the book
Design and technology Key Stage 3 Core Cambridge University
Press. # 1993 Programme director: Howard Bagshaw
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The following projects making pages are from the Datafile for the book
Design and technology Key Stage 3 Core Cambridge University
Press. # 1993 Programme director: Howard Bagshaw.
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The following projects making pages are from the Datafile for the book
Design and technology Key Stage 3 Core Cambridge University
Press. # 1993 Programme director: Howard Bagshaw.
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Adams, DL. 1993. Instructional techniques for critical thinking and

life-long learning in science courses. Journal of College Science
Teaching, 23(2):100-104.
Almond, G & Bagshaw, H. 1994. Hindsight. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Barker, B.J. 1995. Reader's Digest book of skills and tools. Cape Town:
Reader's Digest Association.
Bagshaw, H. 1991: Design and technology. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Bensen, MJ & Bensen, T. 1993. Gaining support for the study of
technology. The Technology Teacher, 52(6):3-5,21.
Bosworth, FM & Savage, EN. 1994. A concept for an environment for
teaching and learning problem solving. Journal of Technology
Studies, 20(1):10-14.
COTEP 1995: Norms and standards and governance structures for
teacher education. Pretoria: Committee on Teacher Education
Custer, RL. 1996. Rubrics: an authentic assessment tool for
technology education. The Technology Teacher, 56(4):27-37.
Denton, HG & Williams, PJ. 1996. Efficient and effective design. The
Technology Teacher, 55(6):1520.
Department of Education, 1996. Norms and standards for Educators.
Pretoria: DoE
Department of Education. 1997a. Curriculum 2005 specific
outcomes, assessment criteria, range statements. Pretoria: DoE.
Department of Education. 1997b. Outcomes based education in South
Africa background information for educators. Pretoria: DoE.
Department of Education. 1997c. Towards a policy framework for
assessment in the general and further education and training
phases in South Africa. Pretoria: DoE.
Department of Education 1997d. Draft policy/phase document:
literacy, numeracy foundation phase (Grades R to 3). Pretoria:
Department of Education 1997e. Understanding the National Quali-
fications Framework A Guide to Lifelong Learning. Pretoria:
Department of Education 2001. Manifesto on Values, Education and
Democracy. Pretoria: DoE.
Department of Education 2002. Revised National Curriculum State-
ment Grades R-9 (Schools): Technology. Pretoria: DoE.
Department of Education 2003. Revised National Curriculum State-
ment Grades R-9 (Schools): Teacher's guide for the development of
Learning Programmes: Technology. Pretoria: DoE.

Draghi, RD. 1993. Factors influencing technology education program

decisions in Ohio school districts. Journal of Industrial Teacher
Education, 30(3):81-95.
Dugger, W & Yung, JE. 1995. Technology Education Today.
Bloomington: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation.
D'Amico, JJ. 1988. Strategic planning for educational reform and
improvement. Planning & Changing, 19(4):237-251.
Eggleston, J. 1996. Teaching design and technology. Buckingham:
Open University Press.
Eisenberg, E. 1994. Technology education and its relationship to
science and maths education. SAARMSE Conference Second
Annual Meeting 27/1/94
Flowers, JC. 1994. Applied philosophy technology education. The
Technology Teacher,
Foster, PN. 1996. Looking out for number one: an egocentric
elementary technology education. The Technology Teacher,
Garret, J. 1995. Design and technology. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Gilberti, AF. 1994. Technology education and societal change. NASSP
Bulletin, 78(563):10-20.
Glover, N. 1993. Design and technology a student text for years 7
& 8. Wentworth Falls: Social Science Press.
Glover, N. 1995. Design and technology for senior students. Went-
worth Falls: Social Science Press.
Hansen, RE. 1993. A technological teacher education program
planning model. Journal of Technology Education, 5(1):25-28.
HEDCOM 1996. Technology 2005: Draft national framework for
curriculum development. Pretoria: HEDCOM.
Hurlburt, A. 1981. The design concept. New York: Watson-Guptill
Johnson, SD. 1996. Technology education as the focus of research.
The Technology Teacher, 55(8):47-49.
Kent, A. & Ward, A. 1983. Introduction to physics. London: Usborne.
Kimble, R, Stables, K & Green, R. 1996. Understanding practice in
design and technology. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Liao, TT. 1994. Towards technology for all. The Technology Teacher,
Macmillan, C. 1995. From IA to Tech Ed shifting the paradigm in
Canada. Technology Directions, 54(8):30-34.
Mahlke, VB. 1993. Design technology in the elementary school:
vehicle for educational
reform? The Technology Teacher, 53(3):6-7.
McCade, JM. & Weymer, RA. 1996. Defining the field of technology
education. The Technology Teacher, 55(8):40-46.
Open University: 1996. Living with technology: introduction. Milton
Keynes: The OpenUniversity.
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Ortega, C & Ortega, R. 1995. Integrated elementary technology

education. Technology Teacher, 54(5):11-15.
Potgieter, C. 1992. 'n Didaktiese ondersoek na optimal mediabenut-
ting in afstandsonderrig.
DEd tesis. Pretoria: Universiteit van Suid-Afrika
Pudi TI 2002. Teacher attitudes towards the implementation of the
learning area technology. D.Ed Thesis. Pretoria: UNISA
Pudi TI 2005. Educator roles for Technology Education Teacher
Educators. Africa Education Review Journal, 2(1)2005.
Pudi TI(ed) 2006: Understanding Technology Education from a South
African perspective. Pretoria: Van Schaiks.
Puk, T. 1996. A framework for developing expertise in engaging the
technological world.
The Technology Teacher, 55(6):10-14.
Rogers, GE. 1995. Technology education curricular content: a trade
and industrial education perspective. Journal of Industrial
Teacher Education, 32(3):59-74.
Rollason, EC. 1965. Metallurgy for engineers. London: Edward
Savage, E. 1993. Technology education: meeting the needs of a
complex society. NASSP Bulletin, 77(554):41-53.
Shackelford, RL. 1996. Student portfolios: a process/product learning
and assessment strategy. The Technology Teacher. 55(8):31-36.
Shield, G. 1992. Learning through a process model of technology.
Journal of Epsilon PI Tau, 18(2)43-52.
Starko, AJ. 1995. Creativity in the classroom: schools of curious
delight. New York: Longman.
Streichler, J. 1994. Editarticles: 1. ``You've got to know the territory.''
and 2. Beyond the horizon with Joe Coates. Journal of
Technology Studies, 20(1):5-9.
Tickle, L, Lancaster, M, Devereux, M. & Marshall, E. 1990. Developing
practical knowledge for teaching design and technology, in
Tickle, L. Ed.: Design and technology in primary school class-
rooms. London: The Falmer Press, p 29-78.
Toffler, A. 1981. The third wave. New York: Bantam.
Williams, PJ. 1992. Design: an appropriate technology education
methodology in less developed countries. Journal of Epsilon Pi
Tau, 18(1):53-60.
Winek, G & Borchers, R. 1993. Technological problem solving
demonstrated. The Technology Teacher, 52(5):23-25.