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A Neo-Darwinian view of technological literacy: a curiosity gene, technicity and ‘learning by doing’

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conference contribution
posted on 24.01.2011, 16:25 by Eddie Norman
Langrish’s 5 basic requirements for Darwinian evolution are explored in the context of product development, particularly guitars. Thistlewood’s three categories of designing – artefactual, evolutionary and historicist – are discussed and the constant probing at the boundaries of the guitar and other musical instrument families is noted. Doyle’s concept of technicity as a potential explanation for such restlessness is examined. Evidence supportive of Doyle’s concept from Loughborough University’s ‘polymer guitar project’ is included. The paper concludes by discussing the validity of a product evolution analogy and the implications of a neo-Darwinian perspective for design and technology education. ‘Learning by doing’ is discussed and the view that the ultimate goal of design and technology education is bridging the gap between technological literacy and technological capability is suggested.



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NORMAN, E., 2007. A Neo-Darwinian view of technological literacy: a curiosity gene, technicity and ‘learning by doing’. IN: Dakers, J.R. ... et al (eds.). Proceedings of PATT-18 International Conference on Design and Technology Educational Research, Scotland, UK, 21st-25th June, pp. 354-362.


Faculty of Education, University of Glasgow (paper © The author / proceedings © The editors)


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