The developing technology education link between secondary and tertiary

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Education




Williams, P. J. (2006). The developing technology education link between secondary and tertiary. International Conference on Technology Education in the Asia Pacific Region.


Unlike the governance of primary and secondary education, schools and universities are generally governed separately and according to very different agendas. Consequently the organization of smooth transitions between secondary schools and universities is fraught. This is particularly the case in technology education, because a university equivalent of secondary technology education is not discrete. Students may study technology education at upper secondary levels because they are interested in fields as diverse as architecture, industrial design, engineering or media. Added to this mix are the students who are interested in non-university tertiary studies, for example at technical higher education institutions. Some would argue that the secondary preparation for these students should encompass the same generic base as university bound students, others propose it should be separate. This paper will utilize a case study approach to analyse the issues of secondary to tertiary transitions in technology education. The case study is based on recent developments in the educational system of Western Australia which has resulted in the availability of a range of technology related secondary school subjects which students can use for entrance to teniaJ)' studies at either university or technical colleges. Issues addressed include the vocational general divide, the acceptability of outcomes based education, the Jinks between compulsory and post compulsory school education and development and delivery issues for teachers.

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