Engineers' non-scientific models in the design process
2011 (English)In: PATT 25:CRIPT8: Perspectives on learning in design and technology education / [ed] Kay Stables, Clare Benson, Marc J. de Vries, London: Goldsmiths, University of London , 2011, 321-325 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Engineers commonly use rules, theories and models that lack scientific justification. Examples include rules of thumb based on experience, but also models based on folk theories and obsolete science. Centrifugal forces and sucking vacuum 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. Engineersʼ work is a common prototype for the pupilsʼ work with product development and systematic problem solving during technology lessons. Therefore pupils should be allowed to use the engineersʼ 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. Technology is first and foremost about usefulness, not about truth. 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
London: Goldsmiths, University of London , 2011. 321-325 p.
technology education, epistemology of technology, design process, modelling
Research subject Philosophy; Education and Communication in the Technological Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-144617ISBN: 978-1-906897-10-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-144617DiVA: diva2:714445
PATT-25 PERSPECTIVES ON LEARNING IN DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION; London, England, July 1-5, 2011
QC 201503302014-04-282014-04-282015-03-30Bibliographically approved