Promoting Technological Thinking

The Objective and the Means


  • Antti Pirhonen Jyväskylä University


Technological thinking is not a discrete form of thinking. Whether we talk about the use or the development of technology, technological thinking intersects with logic, creativity and many other human qualities. The bare definition of technological thinking is an ambiguous task, not to speak of the wide variety of attempts to promote it in education. In this paper, we do not aim at saying the final word about the appropriate means of promoting technological thinking. In the contrary, our aim is to analyse some ideas which are commonly proposed as such means but which can be argued to conflict with contemporary understanding of human thought. Our approach draws on the phenomenology of the body. The focal claim is that human action is thinking rather than reflection of it. This claim underlines the importance of physical activity as the fundamental characteristics of human existence. In the promotion of technological thinking, this implies that there is no technological thinking without physical experiences on which concepts, problem solving and design could be based. In the educational context, providing an environment for rich interaction with physical objects would be essential. In the era of digitalisation, schools appear to be eager in substituting real learning environments and technology with their virtual counterparts. From the point-of-view of embodied cognition, this trend can be seen as a severe threat to the development of many abilities which are central in technological thinking




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Pirhonen, A. (2021). Promoting Technological Thinking: The Objective and the Means. Techne serien - Forskning i slöjdpedagogik och slöjdvetenskap, 28(2), 48–53. Hämtad från