Another Look at Technology and Science
Rodney E. Frey
"Science and technology" is a phrase
that rolls off the tongue with easy familiar-
ity. This linkage is so commonplace that
science and technology are often assumed to
share a common methodology, common symbol
systems (language and mathematics), and a
common community of practitioners. Despite
these perceived commonalities, science is
generally assumed to precede technology.
This misconception about the nature of
science and technology and about the re-
lationship between them can be misleading at
best and fatal at worst for technology educa-
tion. As educators advocate, promote, and
implement technology education in the public
schools, they may find that the new curric-
ulum is equated with science or competes with
science programs. In either case the dis-
tinctive character of technology is misunder-
stood. Over two decades ago DeVore (1968,
1970) argued the same point and urged indus-
trial arts teachers to study technology.
Now, even more, teachers of technology educa-
tion need a clear understanding of similari-
ties and differences between science and
In ordinary conversation, the term sci-
ence seems to be used in three distinct ways:
"(1) science as a human and social enter-
prise, (2) science as the body of well-
established laws and theories, and (3)
science in its applications" (Borgmann, 1984,
p. 17). The first view encompasses the com-
munity of science practitioners and the ac-
tivity or particular approach used by the
community. The second view is concerned with
the cognitive content and structure of sci-
ence. The third view often equates applied
science with technology.
Technology can be viewed as a corollary
to science in all three senses if some lati-
tude in fit is allowed. First, technology is
a problem-solving activity practiced by a
community of professionals. Second, there is
a well-defined body of technological know-
ledge. And, finally, the world is replete
with technological devices, procedures, and
There is a fourth sense in which the
terms technology and science are used. Both
can be regarded in the abstract as mental
categories or constructs which incorporate
the other three senses. Taken to the ex-
treme, technology and science are then seen
as disembodied forces which exist independent
of the natural, material, or social world.
Discussions about technology and science of-
ten fail to distinguish clearly how the terms
are being used. In this paper, attention
will focus on the first three uses of the
terms: practitioners, knowledge, artifacts.
The fundamental position taken in this
paper is that technology is a human activity
involved with the making and using of mate-
rial artifacts. As a human activity, tech-
nology is situated on the same level as art,
politics, science, economics, and the like,
and not subsumed under any other category.
The purpose of this paper is to draw at-
tention to subtle distinctions between tech-
nology and science. Specifically, three
topics will be addressed: distinctive ap-
proaches to the natural world, distinctive
aims and purposes, and distinctive knowledge
structures and content. (See Borgmann, 1984,
chs. 5, 6, and 12 for distinctions between
technology and science based on
APPROACHES TO THE NATURAL WORLD
Both technology and natural science as-
sume the existence of an objective, physical
reality which is independent of one's percep-
tion of it. Bunge (1979) lists these assump-
tions as "(1) the world is composed of
things; (2) things get together in systems;
(3) all things, all facts, all processes,
whether in nature or in society, fit into ob-
jective stable patterns (laws); [and that]
(4) nothing comes out of nothing and nothing
goes over into nothingness" (pg. 270).
Technologists and scientists often act and
talk as though this external world can be
"known" and that the laws and principles de-
scribed by symbols and equations do, in fact,
correspond with objective physical reality.
This view of nature is a variety of realism
and although not all natural scientists hold
this view, it likely predominates (Wartofsky,
1968; Casti, 1989).
In spite of agreement on fundamental
presuppositions about the existence of the
natural world, technologists and scientists
act differently upon these assumptions. For
the natural scientist, nature is the object
of research. Scientists are interested in
discovering all they can about natural phe-
nomena, whether directly available to human
experience or through active intervention
(atom splitting) in natural processes.
Through systematic investigation and exper-
imentation the natural world can be discov-
ered and universal laws stated which explain
how the natural world functions. The natural
world is a "thing in itself," worthy of
study, research, and experimentation to un-
cover fundamental laws, patterns, and struc-
tures. Because the scientist is interested
in nature for what it is, all nature is open
for investigation and all nature is equally
valued from the smallest particle of matter
to the vast universe (Bunge, 1979; Rapp,
An example from Newtonian physics may be
helpful. To the physicist friction is a
force which is always opposed to the direc-
tion of motion. Kinetic frictional force,
empirically determined for any two types of
surfaces which are dry and not lubricated, is
equivalent to the coefficient of friction
times the normal force acting on the body in
motion. The coefficient of friction is a
constant characteristic for the materials in-
volved and determined experimentally. As an
empirical law the mathematical equation ade-
quately describes the relationship between
frictional force and normal force. Although
this law does not rest on any deeper theore-
tical understanding of the mechanisms which
cause friction, it is satisfying because it
describes a portion of the physical world.
The technologist, on the other hand, ap-
proaches nature in a fundamentally different
way. Nature as a "thing for us" is not neu-
tral because value is attached to it depend-
ing on the circumstances of use. This is
true for physical laws and natural resources.
In engine design frictional force is consid-
ered undesirable and efforts are made to re-
duce its effects. On the other hand braking
systems are designed to utilize the effects
of friction. In both cases the physical phe-
nomenon, friction, is valued differently be-
cause of the circumstance.
"Because of his pragmatic attitudes,"
Bunge (1979) suggests, "the technologist will
tend to disregard any sector of nature that
is not or does not promise to become a re-
source" (p. 268). Thus, all nature is not
equally valued. In fact, it is quite common
for the technologist to ignore or overlook
any material or phenomena not immediately
useful. At a later date, because of changing
societal values, political, economic, or so-
cial conditions, the ignored or discarded re-
source may become highly prized. Before the
development of atomic energy, uranium ore was
a nuisance. After technological break-
throughs in nuclear reactor design and con-
struction made nuclear energy an economically
feasible reality, uranium ore became valu-
able. The same can be said about solar en-
ergy. As political alliances in the Middle
East shift, threatening oil supplies, inter-
est in and commitment to the technologies of
solar and wind energy also shift.
If scientists were limited to an objec-
tive reality accessible directly through the
five senses, little scientific progress would
be possible. At some point, scientists pene-
trate the surface reality to directly inter-
vene in natural processes and natural
structure. For instance, particle acceler-
ators and supercolliders are built to break
apart matter to investigate the fundamental
building blocks of nature.
Technologists, too, directly intervene
and alter nature. The intervention is not at
the level of fundamental physical phenomena
through controlled, systematic experimenta-
tion, driven by mathematical theory. More
likely, nature will be altered at the
macroscopic level. For instance, metals are
refined from ores to produce pure elements
not occurring naturally. These metallic ele-
ments are then combined in controlled quanti-
ties to yield other metals (alloys) with new
properties. In this sense the physical world
(space, raw materials, fossil energy) is al-
tered and transformed with the intent of ap-
propriating nature for human purposes (Rapp,
1981, pp. 152-153). In short, "whereas sci-
ence elicits changes in order to know, tech-
nology knows in order to elicit changes"
(Bunge, 1979, p. 264).
AIMS OF TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE
Early in his book Borgmann (1984) intro-
duces an engaging phrase: "taking up with the
world" (p. 3). People take up with the so-
cially constructed world through politics,
economics, and social institutions. They
also take up with the natural and material
world through technology and science. In
both cases the human activity is open, dy-
namic, patterned, and purposeful.
There is not a clear consensus about the
ultimate aim or purpose of natural science.
The situation becomes muddled when the notion
of motivation of the scientist gets mixed in
with aims and purposes of science as an ac-
tivity. A commonly formulated statement of
motivation suggests that scientists pursue
scientific activity out of intellectual curi-
osity and inquisitiveness about the natural
world. The more pristine formulation can be
found in Campbell (1953) where he insists on
science as a form of pure intellectual study
which aims "to satisfy the needs of the mind
and not those of the body [and] appeals to
nothing but the disinterested curiosity of
mankind" (p. 1). This view of science, and
scientists, is unsullied by concerns of the
daily world or by base motives such as recog-
nition, power, money, and prestige. Thought-
ful and reflective scientists would reject
Campbell's view of motivation, especially
when they consider the social/cultural con-
text within which science is practiced. They
might, however, retain curiosity as a
stimulant to scientific activity.
Even though the motivation of the scien-
tist is understood, the ultimate end, pur-
pose, or aim of science remains obscure.
What is the result of scientific activity?
If the answer to this question is approached
by recalling the discussion above of the sci-
entists' view of nature, the subsequent dis-
cussion will carry more meaning.
The more common contemporary answer
about the aim of science involves a complex
interweaving of relationships involving laws,
theory, explanation, and understanding. Sup-
pose it is noted that certain phenomena are
related in such a way as to form a stable,
regular pattern. This pattern is called
physical law. For example, as a piston moves
within a closed-end cylinder, a relationship
between volume and pressure is observed.
This observation can be communicated by stat-
ing that as the volume decreases the pressure
increases and as volume increases pressure
decreases. A more concise formulation states
that pressure (P) is inversely proportional
to volume (V). In the interest of simplic-
ity, this can be reduced to the mathematical
equation PV=k where k is a constant. This
pressure-volume relationship, known as
Boyle's Law, is an example of an empirical
law because it is a descriptive summary of
empirical observations (Casti, 1989, pp.
22-23). Empirical laws describe the regular-
ities of natural phenomena, and may predict
an outcome given appropriate conditions, but
they do not explain why something happens.
For this theory is needed which explains the
uniformities expressed as empirical law
(Hemple, 1966, p. 70).
In the example above, the empirical law
of gases (Boyle's Law) does not provide ex-
planation of the physical phenomena in the
scientific sense. For explanation deeper
theory based on Newtonian mechanics is
needed, specifically f = ma, which does not
use concepts of pressure and volume. In-
stead, particle motion, mass, and velocity
can be used to derive the formal mathematical
Scientists and philosophers of science
have articulated various aims for science.
Some emphasize explanation and understanding
which is consistent with the view of science
as a body of knowledge; of well-established
laws and theories. For instance, Feibleman
(1972) argues that "pure science has as its
aim the understanding of nature; it seeks ex-
planation" (p. 33). In a sense, this could
be characterized as a REALISTIC view because
it assumes a correspondence with an objective
reality "out there" (Casti, 1989, p. 24).
A different perspective holds that sci-
ence aims at producing theories which have
the ability to predict data accurately. The-
ories are not judged to be true or false, nor
are they claimed to be an explanation of re-
ality "out there." Instead, theories are in-
struments or heuristic devices for looking at
phenomena, for testing the congruence between
data and hypothesis, and are open to change
as new data are available through experiment
and observation (Suppe, 1974, pp, 29-30,
127-135; Casti, 1989, p. 25; Borgmann, 1984,
A third perspective of science emerges
as an extension of the view of science as an
organized, systematic body of knowledge. In
this view the aim, or issue, of science is
Truth because the knowledge we have about the
natural world describes a reality presumed to
be true whether anyone knows it or not. This
scientific truth is objective, cumulative,
independent of the lives of scientists, and
timeless (Wartofsky, 1968, p. 23).
In contrast to the views above (explana-
tory, instrumental, truth) are the ideas of
Thomas Kuhn. Kuhn (1970, p. 24) states that
"no part of the aim of normal science is to
call forth new sorts of phenomena; indeed
those that do not fit the box are often not
seen at all. Nor do scientists normally aim
to invent new theories, and they are often
intolerant of those invented by others."
In a Kuhnian framework there are two
kinds of science; "normal" science and "rev-
olutionary" science. It is normal science
which occupies the daily work of most scien-
tists. In Kuhn's view the aim of "normal"
science is to solve the puzzles and problems
inherent in already established phenomena and
theories. The ebb and flow of normal and
revolutionary science suggest that scientific
knowledge is discontinuous, subject to the
interpretation of the community, and
time-bound: a view clearly at odds with
those expressed above. Against this back-
ground the aims of technology can be consid-
Technology serves a practical end which
the common bromide describes as "meeting hu-
man need." But the picture is not that
clear, nor the conception that simple. In-
deed, there appears in the literature numer-
ous, often conflicting, accounts of the aim
of technology. In broad outline the views
can be grouped into two categories: the ma-
terial technology of concrete objects and
processes and the nonmaterial technology of
efficient action. The narrower view of the
former is probably closest to a common sense
notion of technology. The latter view is
broader, less common, and a more abstract
formulation of the aim of technology. Some
instances from the literature are helpful in
clarifying these views.
The restricted view sees technology as
aiming toward realizing concrete material ob-
jects. The natural world provides material
resources which serve as one input into a
transforming process which ultimately issues
in an artifact (Rapp, 1981, p. 44). Devices
and processes are applied and utilized within
technological systems which are, in turn, em-
bedded within larger social and economic sys-
tems. The purpose of these devices,
processes, and systems is to relieve humans
from physical work, to increase the capacity
of human sensory organs, and to provide in-
creased efficiency (pp. 47-49).
This view lies close to the heart of
technology education. "Meeting human need"
is the way it is often put. But does "meet-
ing human need" account for the diversity of
technological artifacts? Basalla (1988) does
not think so. He states that "if technology
exists primarily to supply humanity with its
most basic needs, then we must determine pre-
cisely what those needs are and how complex a
technology is required to meet them. Any
complexity that goes beyond the strict ful-
fillment of needs could be judged superfluous
and must be explained on grounds other than
necessity" (p. 6). He continues the argument
by noting that "we cultivate technology to
meet our perceived needs, not a set of uni-
versal ones legislated by nature" (p. 14).
Diversity of technological artifacts can be
explained more adequately through consider-
ation of human aspiration and as the "product
of human minds replete with fantasies,
longings, wants, and desires" (p. 14).
A distinctly different view of the aim
of technology shifts the focus of the activ-
ity toward a nonmaterial character of tech-
nology. Although two positions can be
identified, (1) efficient action, and (2)
social/organizational, they are not entirely
discrete and independent views.
In the first position, artifacts, de-
vices, and processes are acknowledged to be
the result of technological activity. More
important, however, is the internal dynamic
which drives the quest for new and better ob-
jects of the same kind. For example, better,
in this context, means increased durability,
reliability, speed, and sensitivity, and
produced at less expense and within a shorter
period of time. This internal dynamic to
produce better objects is best expressed as
the pursuit of effectiveness. Effectiveness
is analyzed through a theory of efficient
action. The aim of technology is effective-
ness (efficient action) (Skolimowski, 1966,
In the second approach the idea of effi-
ciency is extended explicitly into the
This view is congenial to other aims of tech-
nology which have to do with artifacts, pro-
cedures, systems, and efficient action. It
simply holds that these do not go far enough.
This is made clear by Bunge, (1979): "We take
technology to be that field of research and
action that aims at the control or transfor-
mation of reality whether natural or social"
(pp. 263-264). Elaborating on this idea he
tentatively outlines the branches of technol-
ogy as follows: (a) material technology to
include physical, chemical, biochemical, and
biological; (2) social technology to include
psychological, psychosociological, sociolog-
ical, economic, and warfare; (3) conceptual
technology to include computer science; and
(4) general technology, including automata
theory, information theory, linear systems
theory, control theory, and optimization the-
ory (p. 264). Especially revealing is the
caption under a flow diagram depicting the
technological process. The caption reads:
"The end product of a technological process
need not be an industrial good or a service;
it may be a rationally organized institution,
a mass of docile consumers or material or id-
eological goods, a throng of grateful, if
fleeced, patients or a war cemetery" (p.
In spirit, but not detail, Richter
(1982) agrees with Bunge. Technology is seen
as a human phenomenon encompassing "tools and
practices deliberately employed as natural
(rather than supernatural) means for attain-
ing clearly identifiable ends" (p. 8).
Richter extends the idea of "means" to in-
clude ORGANIZATIONAL patterns to realize so-
cial ends or societal goals and SYMBOL
systems as technologies designed to realize
communication, persuasion, and computation.
This is obviously the broadest interpretation
of the aims of technology so far. It may be
so broad that it weakens as a useful concept
to distinguish technology from other forms of
KNOWLEDGE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT
An obvious concern when considering the
relationship between technology and science
is the location of the claim for knowledge.
Conventional thinking often situates techno-
logical knowledge within the same knowledge
base as science or in a position subsidiary
to scientific knowledge. This thinking can
lead to the view that there is no distinct
cognitive content for technology or that sci-
ence generates new knowledge which technology
then applies as is evident in the phrase
"technology is applied science."
Recent scholarship in technology rejects
this view and claims that technology is a
cognitive system; that technology is know-
ledge (Layton, 1974). On a superficial
level, the question about structure can be
approached by answering the question: "Where
can I find knowledge about X?" Our reason for
wanting knowledge about X, say an air condi-
tioner, may be to repair, or to design, or to
use one. For each of these three cases the
technological knowledge is different (some
overlap will exist), structured and presented
in patterns most usable for the purpose, and
available in textbooks, manufacturer's liter-
ature, reference manuals, and technical doc-
umentation. Nevertheless, the technological
knowledge is organized, coherent,
intelligible, and different from scientific
knowledge. This is knowledge organized
around devices, processes, and systems.
At a more abstract level technological
knowledge can be structured by the patterns
of thinking inherent in the individual
branches of technology (Skolimowski, 1966),
or by the problems put to the technologist
(Jarvie, 1966,), or by the methodology used in
problem solution (Vincenti, 1979).
Skolimowski illustrates specific structures
of thinking within branches of technology by
suggesting ACCURACY OF MEASUREMENT for sur-
veying, DURABILITY for civil engineering, and
EFFICIENCY for mechanical engineering (pp.
The idea above is extended by Jarvie
(1966) to include "the overriding aim that is
to govern the solution" (p. 387). He sug-
gests that speed, appearance, low unit cost,
social cost, worker and customer satisfaction
could be aims which structure the problem
solution, the thinking patterns, and conse-
quently the knowledge structure.
Parallel to this view is a conclusion
drawn by Vincenti (1979) resulting from a
case study of technological methodology. He
concluded that the method [parametric vari-
ation] used to supply data for designing air-
plane propellers structured the thinking
patterns and, consequently, the form of that
technological knowledge (p. 743). It appears
that the problem put to the technologist and
the distinctive method of solution contribute
to patterns of thinking and to unique techno-
A fourth approach places technological
knowledge within a community of practition-
ers; a sociological approach. Fundamental to
the structure of technological knowledge is
the practice of a technological community be-
cause "technological knowledge comprises tra-
ditions of practice which are properties of
communities of technological practitioners"
(Constant, 1980, p. 8). In his study of
change in technological knowledge, two broad
communities within the aircraft industry were
considered--those concerned with propeller-
driven aircraft and the emergence of a commu-
nity formed around turbojet aircraft. As
justification for this approach, Constant
(1984) states that "the issue is what practi-
tioners do, which to me is a promising and
fruitful path into what they know and how it
changes" (p. 28). Constant provided evidence
of the unique structure and content of spe-
cific technological knowledge within each
community. This should not surprise indus-
trial educators, who, for decades, have pur-
sued a similar practice. Knowledge unique to
crafts and trades was defined and structured
by observing the practicing communities.
Four general comments about technolog-
ical knowledge will help to understand the
unique character of its content. First,
technological knowledge is formulated in lev-
els of discursive and symbolic complexity
(Carpenter, 1974). At the lowest level is
tacit knowledge which resists all attempts at
verbalization. Such knowledge develops dur-
ing deep and sustained experience. For exam-
ple, the novice welder observing an expert
welder might wonder how the expert knows when
aluminum is about to collapse as he TIG
welds. When asked, the expert might reply,
"I just know." Tacit knowledge is not unique
to technology. It is part of every cognitive
system. At the highest level, technological
knowledge which is obtained analytically, is
often expressed symbolically in mathematical
form. Chvorinov's Rule is a simple example
from metal casting. Expressed mathemat-
ically, t = B (V/A) sup n, where n = 1.5 to
2.0. "The total solidification time [t] is
the time from pouring to the completion of
solidification; V is the volume of the casting;
A is the surface area; and B is the mold
constant..." (DeGarmo, 1988, p. 312).
The extremes in levels of technological
knowledge have been chosen to make a point.
At the worst, in the popular conception of
technology, tacit knowledge is assumed to be
the sum and substance of the cognitive con-
tent, and is often expressed as "technology
is know-how." At the best, in the popular
conception, abstract, mathematical formu-
lations of technological knowledge have the
appearance of being "scientific." This leads
to the formulation of "technology is applied
science." Both views do an injustice to the
richness, complexity, source, and
distinctiveness of technical knowledge.
Claims made about the content of techno-
logical knowledge must be situated in re-
lation to the content of scientific
knowledge. Two case studies by Vincenti
(1982, 1984) illustrate such an effort. On
the one hand, Vincenti (1984) documents the
development and refinement of technological
knowledge which owes no debt to science. In
this case study, the knowledge of flush
riveting (details of rivet size, shape, head
angle, tolerance, material, riveting tools
and technique, skin thickness, countersink
procedures) was developed using systematic,
analytic, and rational procedures and "no en-
abling scientific discovery was necessary"
(p. 569). On the other hand, Vincenti (1982)
selected a problem from thermodynamics
(control-volume) which provided wide regions
of overlap between engineering and physics.
He documented how the different communities
of practitioners regarded and used the con-
cept of control-volume--"engineers have de-
veloped control-volume analysis and use it,
physicists have not and do not ... the dif-
ference arises out of a difference in
purpose" (p. 172). Knowledge generated by
engineers working with control-volume is dif-
ferent from science "in both style and sub-
stance" (p. 173).
Another approach can be taken by ac-
knowledging the necessity of scientific know-
ledge but recognizing its insufficiency. In
this view scientific knowledge must be made
useful by transforming it, restructuring it,
and appropriating it according to the spe-
cific demands of a design problem (Aitken,
1985; Staudenmaier, 1985).
To an important degree the content of
technological knowledge is determined by
praxis rather than theory. A simple example
is provided by fluid flow. In classical
fluid mechanics flow problems are described
by mathematical equations and Newton's law of
constant viscosity. However, printer's ink,
paint, grease, and coal slurries do not have
constant viscosities, i.e., they are non-
Newtonian fluids thus falling outside the
classical framework. Modifications to the
classical mathematical equations were made
based on extensive testing which revealed
complex behaviors and additional variables.
Knowledge of these additional conditions re-
sulted directly from praxis. This was also
evident in the previous examples of flush
riveting and metal solidification.
It may seem necessary to establish pri-
ority, historical or conceptual, between
praxis and theory as a way to distinguish be-
tween technology and science, but it is not.
In the development of technological knowledge
they reciprocate as though in dialogue with
one another (Caws, 1979, pp. 229-231).
Differing perspectives on technology can
be identified by examining the claims made
for the aims, goals, or purposes of technol-
ogy. One view holds that the goal of tech-
nology is to produce things, products,
processes, systems, installations, i.e., some
concrete manifestation of purposeful, struc-
tured praxis (Caws, 1979, p. 235) designed to
deliberately alter the natural world. A sec-
ond perspective affirms a broader conception
of technology which encompasses managerial
and social supporting systems. The aim, it
seems is toward optimization, at the techni-
cal and the organizational level. Conse-
quently, included in, or at least in
principle not limited by, this concept of
technology could be the theory and practice
of bureaucratic coordination, advertising
strategies, management, teaching and train-
ing, and economic decision making (Brooks,
1980; Sigaut, 1985).
The author accepts the first of these
perspectives. When technology is understood
in the second sense, "the concept staggers
under the interpretive load it has to carry"
(Laudan, 1984, p. 5). Too much is subsumed
within the framework of technology. For the
broader concept of technology to have mean-
ing, the characteristic and distinctive fea-
tures of technology would have to be
articulated in relation to science, econom-
ics, politics, business, and the like. And
this is no easy task because difficult
questions must be addressed: questions about
knowledge (epistemology), values (axiology),
ethics, practice (praxis), and the nature of
each activity (metaphysics). For our pur-
poses, the problem is delimited by following
Mitcham's (1978) suggestion that technology
refers to "the human making and using of ma-
terial artifacts in all forms and aspects"
When thought of in that frame of refer-
ence, the nearest neighbor to technology be-
comes natural science and claims for
technology must be situated in relation to
natural science. Although technology and
science have been discussed as independent,
parallel cognitive systems with "hard edges,"
the literature, especially in the history and
sociology of technology, suggests otherwise.
Instead, technology and science are viewed as
systems with "soft edges" which allow inter-
action and interpenetration. This does not
deny the influence of the broader
social/cultural environment; it simply states
that technology has features more in common
with natural science than with other forms of
What implications does this have for
technology education? First, the profession
is moving closer to a theory of technology
which will guide program rationale, curric-
ulum development, textbook content, and labo-
ratory activities. One aspect of this theory
is the relationship between technology and
science as expressed in distinctive ap-
proaches to the natural world, distinctive
aims and purposes, and distinctive cognitive
Second, a theory of technology will ar-
ticulate presuppositions about the ultimate
aim of technology. A technology education
curriculum could be developed around the view
that technology aims toward realizing techni-
cal solutions manifest in artifacts, proc-
esses, and systems. Or, rational effective
action and optimization could be the focus of
the curriculum. These curriculums will dif-
fer radically from each other in content and
Finally, technological knowledge has
profound linkages with praxis in the gener-
ation of new knowledge as practical problems
are solved, in the development of technolog-
ical rules and laws, and in the formation of
theoretical models which rationalize practi-
cal experience. This unique characteristic
can be emphasized through laboratory activ-
ities which permit students to design, fabri-
cate, and test technological artifacts and
simple systems within specified criteria.
These activities allow the teacher to show
regions of overlap between scientific and
technological knowledge and how the two
interact and interpenetrate. They also per-
mit the student to generate technological
knowledge which can be organized, codified,
Rodney E. Frey is Associate Professor and
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Journal of Technology Education Volume 3, Number 1 Fall 1991