Representations of technology in the “Technical Stories” for children of Otto Witt, early 20th century Swedish technology educator
2013 (English)In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804, Vol. 23, no 4, 817-834 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Children's fiction in school libraries have played and still play a role in mediating representations of technology and attitudes towards technology to schoolchildren. In early 20th century Sweden, elementary education, including textbooks and literature that were used in teaching, accounted for the main mediation of technological knowledge to schoolchildren. An investigation of children's literature for schools is therefore important in order to understand what was considered worth knowing about technology at the time. The aim of this article is therefore to analyse the representations of technology and attitudes towards technology that were mediated through two children's fiction books in Swedish elementary school libraries in the 1910s. We have limited the analysis of empirical material to the books Technical Stories for Young and Old (Tekniska sagor for stora och smAyen, 1914) and Technical Stories of the War for Young and Old (Krigets tekniska sagor for stora och smAyen, 1915) by the Swedish inventor, author and technology educator Otto Witt. Gauging Witt's influence on the schoolchildren and educators of his time is very difficult, but in this first English-language article on his "technical stories" one can conclude that he was in many ways unique and probably fairly well-read in the schools of early 20th century Sweden and onward. He was also a particularly perceptive forerunner of today's technology and science educators in his use of anthropomorphism as an educational tool.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2013. Vol. 23, no 4, 817-834 p.
Technology education, History, Children’s fiction books, Otto Witt
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100522DOI: 10.1007/s10798-013-9232-1ISI: 000326454900001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-100522DiVA: diva2:662867