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Re: reading questions

Posted By: DR.Wes Perusek on March 21, 2005

We have not communicated for some time.We moved here with a new e address:

Your Dec. 3,2003 message had good points that I respected and appreciated but also raised questions about terminology potentially spelling or unlocking much misinformation that is easy and distressing to see in the literature.

The problem is that far too many writers still engage in using the term " technology" when they refer only to one part of it and leave out all the rest. This of course is " information processing technology" or quite simply, computers in education. When alone, no one is threatened. However, when the language of technology education and literacy gets to the legislative levels and the "leadership" levels in government and in academia we see problems, many deep problems.

One of these is the built in notion that "school" is a 6 hour per day, 5 days per week, 9 month per year proposition and that telling is the chief mode of instruction.

These traditions are killing us like the ball on chain on leg.

Funding is always an issue is education. If leadership granters in funding see only the part and not the whole, and fund the part while ignoring the whole, millions of youngsters will be denied the access recent Gallup/ITEA Polls show most Americans see as essential educational opportunity and need : Technology Education leading to Technological Literacy.

So when you wrote and asked:" why are we indeed asking these questions about terms, anyway? what is it in our world that is NOT happening--or that is-- and which compels us to wonder about these terms... "

Technology is older than science. Science grew and developed out of technology,not the other way round. Look at history. Few writers understand this as reflected in the view posed or exposed totally unconnected to history or reality because as Edward DeBono notes as he addressed the distinctions between critical thinking and creative thinking: "They can see no alternative, no other way." Well actually, they do not know their own histroy. And as he has noted so well: "Critical thinking is a second stage servicing system."

Turns out as German Historian Fredrich Dessauer pointed out: " The core of technology is invention." and his wonderful Technology in Its Proper Sphere was brought to us by Carl Mitcham and Robert Mackey (eds.) Philosophy and Technology, New York: The Free Press, 1972,1983.

Now ask your -self how important to our society and standard of living as well as the world ( developed and underdeveloped) is invention as well as innovation. And ask yourself how important to economic development, energy dependence, transportation, manufacturing, housing, communications, construction, tools, machines, bridges, dams, air and water quality, Work and Its Nature, underemployment, poverty and abundance, depravation in a land of abundance, land use, international relations and trade and much much more are totally based upon, founded in and grown from existent and advancing technology.

What is not happening nearly enough in our world is deeper recognition of the history, value, paramount significance, importance,understanding of TEchnology in human existence on this small planet and how it is presented to and engages young learners, youngsters growing within the miracles of technology as a "given" and without a sense or knowlege of how it developed, how it advanced, its nature, its history and its distinctions from "science".

Three of us attempted to write to some of these issues in the January 2004 SHOT (Society for the History of Technology) Newsletter. http://shot.press.jhu.edu/Newsletters/archive/2004_January/literacy.htm

Here we also called upon the historians of technology to better address the literacy problem and from the historians perspective.

Reading and making sense of the publications addressing the issues is so important. And each reader as well as each writer carries a vantage point in attempting to make sense of ideas and movements through the written word.

When one reads all the relevant publications he or she can locate, one cannot but be excited about and thrilled in the advancement of mankind and the potentials ahead to be personally and directly participating in in 2005. One can then also see the shortsighted, tradition based approach taken in " education" and "schools" for young people and adults.
What in 2005-2006 is basic education? What is important for All Americans to Know and Be Able to Do-- regardless of their future work? Should we be able to state this??? Will Most People Agree?????

The ITEA Technology for All Americans Project attempts to address the issue and propose answers and joins AAAS Project 2061 is doing so along with NAE, NSF, IEEE,ASME and many other professional technical groups. The growing list of States now recognizing that technology and technological literacy and technology education, does, at long last, have a critically significant place alongside science, mathematics, languarge arts, history, government, art and literature is indication of this recognition.

The problem of separate subject vs integration is at hand.So called "Academics" in some instances are affronted by the intrusion into "their turf" of technology education even though they owe their own existence to the nature,substance and advancement of the very subject

Let us please, carry on this important discussion.

Dr.Wes Perusek, Director
OSGC(NASA) Invention Innovation
Centers Project
6165 Creekside Lane
North Ridgeville, Ohio 44039
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 Technology education by Lisa Delany on November 26, 2002
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