Technology education and engineering are closely related. In schools when students are engaged in designing and making some outcomes it may be referred to as engineering, technology or more recently as STEM depending on national curricula. Whatever its name the undertaking of technology practice in schools has many similaraties with and therefore could lead students into engineering and engineering related careers, subsequently referred to engineering careers. It is perceived as desirable that engineers have a variety of characteristics included those that are typically associated with being ‘female’ such as considering social and moral issues impacts and empathy; however, in the Western world female numbers are very low in engineering careers. This paper is based on the premise that it is important to understand how and why this has come about. Girls need to be encouraged into engineering careers especially those fields traditionally dominated by males such as civil, mechanical and software engineering. Before we can address this issue it is important to understand what teachers understand about the links between school based technology education and engineering. As students between the ages of 11-13 years make critical decisions related to their career choice. As teachers influence their students both overtly and subliminally in this choice it is important to explore teachers’ views of engineering and technology, accordingly this paper reports on a study investigating student primary teachers’ views on engineering and its links with technology education. The results indicate that just under half of the students recognised technology as a precursor to engineering or that aspects of technology relate to aspects of engineering, however the data suggests that some of the participants recognised links based on flawed understanding of either technology or engineering.
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