Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Technological know-how from rules of thumb
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7778-2552
2011 (English)In: Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, ISSN 1091-8264, E-ISSN 1091-8264, Vol. 15, no 2, 96-109 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Rules of thumb are simple instructions, used to guide actions toward a specific result, without need of advanced knowledge. Knowing adequate rules of thumb is a common form of technological knowledge. It differs both from science-based and intuitive (or tacit) technological knowledge, although it may have its origin in experience, scientific knowledge, trial and error, or a combination thereof. One of the major advantages of rules of thumb is the ease with which they can be learned. One of their major disadvantages is that they cannot easily be adjusted to new situations or conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 15, no 2, 96-109 p.
Keyword [en]
rule of thumb, heuristics, functional rules, technical knowledge, technological knowledge
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48236Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84875355113OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-48236DiVA: diva2:457061
Note
Updated from submitted to published 20120328. QC 20120328Available from: 2011-11-16 Created: 2011-11-16 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Technology education and non-scientific technological knowledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Technology education and non-scientific technological knowledge
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis consists of two essays and an introduction. The main theme is technological knowledge that is not based on the natural sciences.The first essay is about rules of thumb, which are simple instructions, used to guide actions toward a specific result, without need of advanced knowledge. Knowing adequate rules of thumb is a common form of technological knowledge. It differs both from science-based and intuitive (or tacit) technological knowledge, although it may have its origin in experience, scientific knowledge, trial and error, or a combination thereof. One of the major advantages of rules of thumb is the ease with which they can be learned. One of their major disadvantages is that they cannot easily be adjusted to new situations or conditions.

Engineers commonly use rules, theories and models that lack scientific justification. How to include these in introductory technology education is the theme of the second essay. Examples include rules of thumb based on experience, but also models based on obsolete science or folk theories. Centrifugal forces, heat and cold as substances, and sucking vacuum all belong to the latter group. These models contradict scientific knowledge, but are useful for prediction in limited contexts where they are used when found convenient. The role of this kind of models in technology education is the theme of the second essay. Engineers’ work is a common prototype for pupils’ work with product development and systematic problem solving during technology lessons. Therefore pupils should be allowed to use the engineers’ non-scientific models when doing design work in school technology. The acceptance of these could be experienced as contradictory by the pupils: a model that is allowed, or even encouraged in technology class is considered wrong when doing science. To account for this, different epistemological frameworks must be used in science and technology education. Technology is first and foremost about usefulness, not about the truth or even generally applicable laws. This could cause pedagogical problems, but also provide useful examples to explain the limitations of models, the relation between model and reality, and the differences between science and technology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2011. vii, 31 p.
Keyword
rule of thumb, technical knowledge, technological knowledge, technology education, epistemology of technology, design process, modelling
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48237 (URN)978-91-7501-143-1 (ISBN)
Presentation
2011-12-08, Room 231, KTH, Teknikringen 78 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20111118

Available from: 2011-11-18 Created: 2011-11-16 Last updated: 2014-05-12Bibliographically approved
2. Technological knowledge and technology education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Technological knowledge and technology education
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Technological knowledge is of many different kinds, from experience-based know-how in the crafts to science-based knowledge in modern engineering. It is inherently oriented towards being useful in technological activities, such as manufacturing and engineering design.

The purpose of this thesis is to highlight special characteristics of technological knowledge and how these affect how technology should be taught in school. It consists of an introduction, a summary in Swedish, and five papers:

Paper I is about rules of thumb, which are simple instructions, used to guide actions toward a specific result, without need of advanced knowledge. One off the major advantages of rules of thumb is the ease with which they can be learnt. One of their major disadvantages is that they cannot easily be adjusted to new situations or conditions.

Paper II describes how Gilbert Ryle's distinction between knowing how and knowing that is applicable in the technological domain. Knowing how and knowing that are commonly used together, but there are important differences between them which motivate why they should be regarded as different types: they are learnt in different ways, justified in different ways, and knowing that is susceptible to Gettier type problems which technological knowing how is not.

Paper III is based on a survey about how Swedish technology teachers understand the concept of technological knowledge. Their opinions show an extensive variation, and they have no common terminology for describing the knowledge.

Paper IV deals with non-scientific models that are commonly used by engineers, based on for example folk theories or obsolete science. These should be included in technology education if it is to resemble real technology. Different, and partly contradictory, epistemological frameworks must be used in different school subjects. This leads to major pedagogical challenges, but also to opportunities to clarify the differences between technology and the natural sciences and between models and reality.

Paper V is about explanation, prediction, and the use of models in technology education. Explanations and models in technology differ from those in the natural sciences in that they have to include users' actions and intentions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. vi, 52 p.
Series
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1650-8831 ; 48
Keyword
philosophy of technology, epistemology of technology, technology education, technological knowledge, rule of thumb, explanation
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-144875 (URN)978-91-7595-078-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-03, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20140512

Available from: 2014-05-12 Created: 2014-04-30 Last updated: 2014-05-12Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Scopus

Authority records BETA

Norström, Per

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Norström, Per
By organisation
Philosophy
In the same journal
Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology
Philosophy

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

urn-nbn

Altmetric score

urn-nbn
Total: 132 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf