Project-based learning (PBL) is the recommended approach for teaching technology in South
Africa. The implementation of this approach, however, is problematic since the vast majority of
technology teachers are not formally trained in technology education. Consequently, many of
these teachers rely on technology textbooks for guidance. Therefore, the purpose of this study
was to investigate how PBL is represented in technology textbooks. A set of criteria, identified
by Thomas, capturing the uniqueness of PBL, formed the conceptual framework of this study
and was used to conduct the content analysis of twelve of the most commonly used textbooks.
The study engaged a combination of quantitative and qualitative research to provide insight into
how project-based learning is presented, if at all, in these textbooks. It was found that PBL is
poorly represented in the sampled textbooks; the criteria that require projects to be central to the
curriculum and to involve learners in a constructive investigation seem to be most problematic.
The study recommends that teachers involved in teaching technology deepen their understanding
of PBL by studying the theory of this approach, since a proper understanding of PBL in schools
is crucial to ensure that we do justice to technology education.