Perceptions and attitudes of pupils towards technology: In search of a rigorous theoretical framework

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25 Citations (Scopus)


The perceptions and attitudes of pupils towards technology have been researched for just over three decades. Recently, following an extensive review of the available literature, Ankiewicz (in: De Vries (ed) Handbook of technology education, Springer International Handbooks of Education, 2016. provided an overview of the current state of research, in a chapter in the Springer Handbook of Technology Education. However, due to length restrictions the chapter had to be concise and thus focused primarily on the mainstream instruments and their derivatives. More detailed descriptions of the perceptions and attitudes of students as well as discussions of unconventional and non-related instruments therefore had to be omitted. Consequently, the purpose of this article is to extend the chapter concerned by providing a more extensive and nuanced review of the total substantive body of knowledge that has been generated in just over three decades. The following research question underpinned the literature review: How may the existing research and subsequent findings be systematised into a more rigorous theoretical framework that may assist scholars in navigating their way through the current research on the perceptions and attitudes of students towards technology? In addition to the previous findings made and conclusions drawn in the chapter, it was found that such a theoretical framework should be informed by the following guiding insights: viewpoints concerning the construct of attitudes towards technology, as well as measuring such attitudes; the mainstream instruments in The Pupils’ Attitudes Towards Technology (PATT) studies and their derivatives, as well as problematic aspects associated with these; unconventional, PATT-related instruments; new, non-related instruments for ascertaining students’ attitudes and concepts; the general research findings on students’ attitudes; means that may positively develop students’ attitudes; and unidimensional versus multidimensional studies studying the effect of all characteristics or determinants of all aspects of learners’ attitudes. Such a rigorous theoretical framework may serve as a valuable resource for future researchers embarking on this area of research, as it provides a synopsis that may assist in enhancing an understanding of research that has been done and work that needs to be done in order to contribute to developing new knowledge in the field of design, technology, and engineering education. It also indicates gaps in this research area, notably in researching the behavioural component of attitudes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-56
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Design Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019


  • Attitude measurement
  • Attitudes
  • Behaviour
  • Concepts
  • Technology education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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