Fundamental Issues Regarding the Nature of Technology: Implications for STEM Education Academic Article uri icon


  • 2019, Springer Nature B.V. Science and technology are so intertwined that technoscience has been argued to more accurately reflect the progress of science and its impact on society, and most socioscientific issues require technoscientific reasoning. Education policy documents have long noted that the general public lacks sufficient understanding of science and technology necessary for informed decision-making regarding socioscientific/technological issues. The sciencetechnologysociety movement and scholarship addressing socioscientific issues in science education reflect efforts in the science education community to promote more informed decision-making regarding such issues. Now Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education has emerged as a major reform movement impacting science education. STEM education efforts emphasize literacy across the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, but with rare exceptions, treat issues of technology superficially and uncritically. Informed decision-making regarding many personal and societal issues requires technological literacy beyond merely becoming an enthusiastic designer or skilled user of technology, but the science education community has given little attention to what such literacy entails. Here, we present results of an extensive review of the literature regarding the nature of technology (NOT) in order to identify key issues among scholars who study technology. We then provide predominant perspectives among those scholars and suggest which identified NOT issues are most essential to address as part of STEM education efforts that seek to promote informed personal and societal decision-making.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Pleasants, J., Clough, M. P., Olson, J. K., & Miller, G.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Pleasants, Jacob||Clough, Michael P||Olson, Joanne K||Miller, Glen

publication date

  • July 2019