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Designing a Stage of "Romance" for Programs in Technological Literacy

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Promoting Technological Literacy

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.375.1 - 24.375.14



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Paper Authors


John Heywood Trinity College-Dublin

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John Heywood MA MSc LittD (Dublin) M.Litt (Lanacaster).
Professorial Fellow Emeritus of Trinity College – The University of Dublin and formerly Professor and Director of Teacher Education in the University (1977 – 1996).

In addition to a higher doctorate he is the holder of a Masters degree in engineering education (MSc). He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education, a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and a Licentiate and Fellow of the College of Preceptors.

His major studies are co-authored book “Analysing Jobs” about what engineers do at work; three editions of “Assessment in Higher Education” ; “Learning, Adaptability and Change; the Challenge for Education and Industry” and the American educational research award winning “Engineering Education: Research and Development in Curriculum and Instruction” published by IEEE/Wiley. He is a recipient of a Science, Education and Technology Division Premium of the London IEE for his contribution to engineering education.

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This paper continues a discussion on the design of curriculum for courses in engineering and technologicalliteracy that are integral components of programs in general/liberal education. As one possible approachWhitehead’s model of rhythm in learning and motivation was presented. The model that was presented forundergraduate education was based on experimental work in the teaching of engineering and technology thathad been completed in the post-primary system of education in Ireland. While the content and methodapplicable to each of the three stages of the Whitehead cycle was illustrated there was no in-depth discussion ofthe components of each of these stages. The paper was presented as a contribution to a developing philosophyrather than an idea that was in the prevailing plausibility structure. This paper considers the principles thatshould underline the design of the “romance” stage of Whitehead’s model. The stage of “romance” like thestage of “generalization” are necessarily transdisciplinary. Five goals are outlined for the stage of “romance.”Their attainment has implications for the organization of the courses, its content, and the approaches to learningadopted. As conceived here the stage of romance for a program in engineering and technological literacy is ashort all embracing intensive program of activities that enable a student to discover the properties of engineeringand technological literacy that are derived from key concepts representative of the different knowledgedimensions that comprise these literacies.. A distinction is made between “bridging” and “over-arching –concepts in curriculum design. Historical examples of attempts to achieve some of these goals are presented forthe purpose of stimulating further discussion.

Heywood, J. (2014, June), Designing a Stage of "Romance" for Programs in Technological Literacy Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20266

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