“A sufficiently complex construction” and other conceptions of technology held by engineering students: A case study from Sweden
Paper in proceedings, 2011
Engineering has been described as a particular community of practice with its own tacit assumptions about the nature and purpose of engineering and technology. In this paper we investigate how engineering students conceptualise technology. Data was collected through ten interviews and the data was analysed using a phenomenographic approach, leading to six different conceptions of technology. Interestingly, the social dimension of technology was almost invisible in all conceptions. We discuss how these results can be used as an educational intervention to help engineering students to develop a more complex understanding of technology. We also outline the structure of a course aiming to increase students’ understanding of engineering as well as the relationship between science, technology and society.