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Defining Engineering and Technological Literacy

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Engineering and Technological Literacy: Past and Future

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

25.381.1 - 25.381.9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/21139

Download Count

35

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Paper Authors

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John Krupczak Hope College

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John Krupczak is professor of engineering, Hope College, Holland, Mich.; CASEE Senior Fellow (2008-2010); Past Chair, ASEE Technological Literacy Division;and Past Chair ASEE, Liberal Education Division.

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John W. Blake P.E. Austin Peay State University

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John Blake is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Technology at Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tenn. He served as Department Chair from 1994-2005. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University, and is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Tennessee.

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Kate A. Disney Mission College

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Kate Disney teaches engineering at Mission College in Santa Clara, Calif.

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Carl O. Hilgarth Shawnee State University

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Carl O. Hilgarth is professor and Department Chair of engineering technologies at Shawnee State University (SSU), Portsmouth, Ohio. He joined SSU in 1990 and has served as Department Chair since 1997. He holds an M.S. in engineering management from the Missouri University of Science and Technology (UMR). His technical interests are computer engineering technology, production operations, industrial management, and industrial archeology. He also instructs ethics and senior seminar courses in the university's general education program, and is an advocate of the importance of including technological literacy across the university curriculum. Prior to SSU, he was employed at McDonnell Douglas Corporation (now Boeing), St. Louis, Mo., as an engineer and manager. He is a member of ASEE, AIAA (Associate Fellow), ASEM (Fellow), and ATMAE.

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Randy Libros Community College of Philadelphia

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Randy Libros is Program Director, Applied Science and Engineering Technology, and
Associate Professor of physics.

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Mani Mina Iowa State University

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Steven R. Walk Old Dominion University

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Steven Robert Walk, P.E., is an Assistant Professor of electrical engineering technology in the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University. He is Founder and Director of the Laboratory for Technology Forecasting. His research interests include energy conversion systems, technology and innovation management, and technological forecasting and social change. He is owner and founder of Technology Intelligence, a management consulting company in Norfolk, Va. Walk earned B.S.E.E.T. and M.S.E.E. degrees at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a University Scholar.

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Abstract

Defining Engineering and Technological LiteracyMany Americans lack even a rudimentary understanding of the principles underlying thetechnology essential for daily life. Engineering concepts are pervasive in decision making withinindustry, government, education, and health care, yet most people complete formal educationwith little exposure to the central ideas and principles underlying our technological society. Theterms engineering literacy and technological literacy have been used to describe aspects of thisunderstanding of human-developed process and products. This work addresses some of thedifferences and similarities between the concepts of engineering literacy and technologicalliteracy. A clear well-defined understanding of each of these areas is an essential first step indeveloping a means to promote these understandings in the undergraduate general educationprogram. Engineering literacy is viewed as having a focus directed more toward the process ofcreating or designing technological artifacts or systems. It is argued that technological literacyincludes a broader view of the products or results of the engineering process as well as therelation between technology and society. Each literacy is seen as having a time-independent anda constantly evolving or changing component. The engineering processes can be viewed asindependent of the specific nature of technology which changes over time as technology evolves.The specific artifacts, processes, and systems that define any technological era are transient. Thehardware aspects of technological literacy will be an ever-changing subject. The interactions andrelationships of society to technology are viewed as constant and little-changed as differentartifacts and systems move into and out of importance to daily life. This work will use a theprocess of a comparison of engineering and technological literacy to help define and describeeach area of knowledge.

Krupczak, J., & Blake, J. W., & Disney, K. A., & Hilgarth, C. O., & Libros, R., & Mina, M., & Walk, S. R. (2012, June), Defining Engineering and Technological Literacy Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21139

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015