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Mitcham’s Fourth: a case for foregrounding volition when framing Design and Technology Education

Keirl, Steve. 2018. Mitcham’s Fourth: a case for foregrounding volition when framing Design and Technology Education. In: N Seery; J Buckley; D Canty and J Phelan, eds. Proceedings of 36th International Pupils’ Attitudes Towards Technology Conference, Athlone Institute of Technology, Co. Westmeath, Ireland 18th-21st June, 2018. Technology Education Research Group, Ireland, pp. 59-64. ISBN 9781527225077 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

In his 1994 text "Thinking Through Technology: the path between engineering and philosophy", Carl Mitcham presented a typology of four ‘modes of manifestation of technology’: as object; as knowledge; as activity; and, as volition. In line with Mitcham’s
own position at the time (and more recently), this paper takes as a premise that the first three of these dominate Design and Technology (D&T) curriculum in traditional and restrictive
ways.

The paper first presents a brief overview of the text and the first three modes; second, presents some philosophical context to the concept of volition; third, reflects in greater depth
on ‘technology as volition’; and, fourth, sketches a case for foregrounding volition in D&T educational thinking and practice. On its journey, the paper explores concepts of (free) will, choice, decision-making, motivation, intention, human expression, individual and social enterprise, technological (non-)neutrality and incontinence (in Mitcham’s sense of the word).

The paper is a contribution to the general education case for D&T curricula to take dynamic, humanistic and holistic forms rather than restricted technical-instrumental or purely realist forms.

Item Type:

Book Section

Additional Information:

Keirl, S., (2018), ‘Mitcham’s Fourth: a case for foregrounding volition when framing Design and Technology Education’ in (Eds.) Seery, N., Buckley, J., Canty, D. & Phelan, J., Proceedings of 36th International Pupils’ Attitudes Towards Technology Conference, Athlone Institute of Technology, Co. Westmeath, Ireland 18th-21st June, 2018, pp. 59-64, Technology Education Research Group, Ireland. ISBN: 978-1-5272-2507-7 eISBN: 978-1-5272-2508-4

Keywords:

Design and Technology (D&T) Education, Technology, Carl Mitcham

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Design

Dates:

DateEvent
April 2018Accepted
June 2018Published

Item ID:

24987

Date Deposited:

16 Nov 2018 15:24

Last Modified:

16 Nov 2018 15:24

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/24987

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