Open Distance Learning Training Centre

JUNE 2007

Improving Technology Education in Europe

Research project UPDATE starts knowledge portal and newsletter service.

Technology plays an indispensable role by now in the work and everyday life of most of the people living in Europe. However, technology related professions are chosen but rarely, in particular by young women; the existent demand of specialised staff can not be covered by the number of students in the fields of engineering or computer sciences. Moreover women's perspectives are often missing in technology development. The research project UPDATE is therefore scrutinising Europe’s technology education. With a new, developmental approach, the project considers the following questions: Which improvements could be made in technology education that account for girls and boys? Which projects and practical examples worth emulating provide solutions for the actual situation?

The UPDATE website ( offers a constantly growing knowledge portal and a newsletter service for teachers, other stakeholders of educational system, and interested parties. In the form of a “Wiki“ on technology education, managed by experts, news, dates, research results, and examples of good practice are presented. UPDATE reports, for example, on new concepts for the youngest visitors in European technology museums, on the amazingly successful project “Girls’Day – Future Prospects for Girls“ in Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands, or the Rumanian project „Be a Science Teacher for a Week“.

UPDATE (Understanding and Providing a Developmental Approach to Technology Education) as an innovative approach focuses the entire educational chain from (pre-)school up to the choice of field of study or an apprenticeship. One of the core themes is to examine why girls drop out of technology education at the different stages of their formation. New ways and educational methods shall be created to make the image of technology and technological careers more attractive for both girls and boys. Particularly girls and young women shall be promoted, encouraged and mobilised for engineering and technology careers, and as active users of modern technology.

The research project UPDATE is funded by the European Commission and is part of the European Community’s Sixth Framework Programme.

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