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Coming to Terms with Engineering Design as Content


Theodore Lewis

University of Minnesota, US
About Theodore

A Professor in the Department of Work Community and Family Education at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul.

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With the publication of standards for teaching, learning, and the inculcation of technological literacy (International Technology Education Association, 2000), technology education in the United States has made a significant leap forward toward greater acceptance as a valid school subject. Standards represent content terrain claimed by a community of practitioners, and once stakes are put down, it is left to adherents to move in seeking title. It is doubtful whether we will witness a rush towards bio-technology or medical technology, new areas in the standards that do not naturally issue from our accustomed traditions. But for design there will be great interest since this is a content area over which the field has long toiled. Design is arguably the single most important content category set forth in the standards, because it is a concept that situates the subject more completely within the domain of engineering. Four of the 20 standards address the question of design directly. Standard 8 deals with the “attributes of design;” Standard 9 with “engineering design;” Standard 10 with “trouble shooting, research and development, invention and innovation, and experiment in problem solving; and Standard 11 with the “design process.”
How to Cite: Lewis, T. (2005). Coming to Terms with Engineering Design as Content. Journal of Technology Education, 16(2), 37–54. DOI:
Published on 22 Mar 2005.
Peer Reviewed


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