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Ya-Hsuan Wang

Institute of Education,
National Chung Cheng University,
168, University Road, Ming-Hsiung, Chia-Yi
TAIWAN

The politics of the curriculum and course development of Living Technology textbooks: Taiwan experience

The rapid development of multi-media technology in Taiwan has not only changed people’s life style but also the way of schooling. Within the macro-social context, the 2009 High School Curriculum Guideline Reform is meant to correspond to the revolution of knowledge structure and pedagogical approaches. Is this policy also responding to emerging social issues such as globalization and localization in the multicultural and e-society? How is this policy operated within Taiwan’s particular socio-political context in terms of the curriculum and course development of Living Technology?

This paper is a critical social research on textbooks politics concerned with the cultural politics. The discourses in textbooks convey the powers and political interests of different groups in order to transmit specific curriculum ideologies. This research aims to analyze the curriculum ideologies of the Living Technology textbooks and the politics of the textbook selection. Empirical data about the politics of textbook were collected by focused group discussions with textbook editors and reviewers, and by structural telephone interviews with 209 High School Technology teachers. CDA framework is used to analyze the qualitative discourses.

We conclude that CDA can act as a critical methodology for textbook politics by giving special focus on the complexity of the politics of course development as well as the submerged ideologies behind the texts. The CDA framework has enabled to extract several discourses presented in the textbook. The discourse of “technology as modernity” acknowledges the importance of technology in daily life, while the STS discourses discloses power imbalance between gender, cultural, national, class and social forces. In terms of the politics of textbook selection, we conclude that Living Technology is regarded as key ability in daily life but not a major subject in schools due to its historically powerless status and unpromisingly non-examination subject in the future.

BIO

PhD degree in Cambridge University UK in 2004. I am an associate professor in the Institute of Education at National Chung Cheng University Taiwan. I teach the subjects of Sociology of Education, Multicultural Education, Textbook Research, Gender and Education, Identity Politics and Education, and Cultural Studies. I am recently involved with two NSC research projects—Gender boundary and gender mobility in technology; Contextual Analysis of Issues in Curriculum Policy Formation and Implementation.