Technology Teachers as Researchers: Philosophical and by Inga-Britt Skogh, Marc J. De Vries

By Inga-Britt Skogh, Marc J. De Vries

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The descriptions are useful for prediction in that context, but do not explain anything in the proper sense. – Anthropomorphic The functioning of an artefact is explained by likening it to a human body or parts thereof. When two parts of an industrial robot are described as being an ‘arm’ and a ‘hand’ respectively, it should be obvious to the listener what they are intended for. Therefore the names in themselves have, in that context, a (limited) explanatory power. The anthropomorphic style is a special case of the metaphor variant (see below).

For the purposes of the natural sciences, an analytical solution is always preferred (although there are areas, such as quantum chemistry, in which it is seldom obtainable). This may partly be a matter of the aesthetic qualities of the solutions, but it is also a matter of their explanatory qualities. There is a good chance that the insights obtainable from an exact solution can contribute to the solution of other similar problems in the future. TRANSFORMATIONS BETWEEN THE FOUR KNOWLEDGE TYPES As already indicated, the four types of technological knowledge can be ordered linearly according to how practical or theoretical they are.

An important group of such transformations are those that result in tacit knowledge. It is usually practical rule knowledge that is starting-point for such a transformations. It can be called a routinization (arrow 4). One typical example is when a young car-driver learns to gear up or down without thinking of it. Another Figure 2. Transformations of technological knowledge: articulation (1), scientification (2 and 3), routinization (4) and application (5 and 6). 26 WHAT IS TECHNOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE?

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