Journal of Technology Education
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
In the long march from manual training, the subject which today we call technology education has always had to contend with the question of its legitimacy as valid school knowledge. In this regard, it shares a similar history of struggle with other subjects whose initial entry into the curriculum was based on a utilitarian rather than an academic rationale. Goodson (1983) documents such cases (e.g. geography and biology) showing how in their struggle for acceptance, the primary strategy of advocates was to try to enhance the academic bona fides of their subject. He explained that utilitarian knowledge is associated with "those non-professional vocations in which the majority of people work for most of their adult life" p. 27. In one of his earliest writings in which he made the case for the subject, Calvin Woodard acknowledged its utilitarian tradition, but pointed to its intellectual side as well.
Lewis, T. (2004). A turn to engineering: The continuing struggle of technology education for legitimization as a school subject. Journal of Technology Education, 16(1), 21-39.