Asee peer logo

Why Technological Literacy and for Whom?

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Promoting Engineering and Technological Literacy

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


John Heywood Trinity College-Dublin

visit author page

John Heywood is professorial Fellow Emeritus of Trinity College Dublin- The University of Dublin. he is a Fellow of ASEE and Life Fellow of IEEE. he has special interest in education for the professions and the role of professions in society. he is author of Engineering Education. research and development in Curriculum and Instruction.

visit author page

Download Paper |


During the last three or four years John Krupczak and other members of the TELPHI Division have presented definitions of technological and engineering literacy which have at the very least have helpfully distinguished between the two. It has also been pointed out that contextual models of the engineering process show that neither can be properly understood without reference to the other. At the same time these models have been developed without clear reference to the audience for which they are intended. Needs analysis shows that there are many possible audiences but suggests that the content may differ considerably as between them. Audiences that are readily identifiable are the general population, the liberal arts undergraduate population, professionals such as lawyers, teachers, medics, and the undergraduate engineering population. The purpose of this study is to provide a limited examination whether there is a community of scholarship that is relevant to every group that is divided by the extent of knowledge and skill required for a particular audience. Recent controversial activities undertaken by General Motors and Volkswagen high light the importance of such an examination.

Heywood, J. (2016, June), Why Technological Literacy and for Whom? Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27202

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: © 2016 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