New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Theory and Practice in science and technology

Frank Steyer, Beuth-Hochschule (Germany)


Preliminary remarks: I concentrate on “science” as “natural science” , “technology” ,“computer science” and “programming”. That means: My first restriction is I will talk only on natural science and computer science. But then I will make an extension by practice, namely thinking on the consequences, especially those of the technology.
The proceding of science in general is: It starts with experiments, makes inductions and builds a theory. From that it comes by deduction to forecasts.
Examples are of course physics, chemics, and biology. Researchers, that did this are e.g. Galilei, Newton, Darwin, Liebig, Kekule.
New and important are now preciceness, completeness, classification, allowing no contradictions.
But then comes technology. The proceeding of technology is: It specifies results, going to the construction,also in parts, thus getting a product.
Products and inventions are built on the scientific results, e.g. by Edison, Bell. Industries are built on the scientific results and the inventions, e.g. by Siemens, Daimler, Benz, Opel. With necessary financial investigations and capital, of course.
Examples of this are the construction of bridges, railways, steam engines, combustion engines, cars.
Generally spoken: Technology is the proof of the practicability of science, a useful predecessor.
My final remark here is that necessary are selection rules, guidelines, that help with the the choice of the many construction possibilities. Here are several influences thinkable: money, profit, power, respect of the human community, or any social responsibility.
Now we go on to formal sciences, especially computer science. Computer science was always driven by technology. Its first goal was to control more complkex devices and machines. The scientific root of course is mathematics. Mathematics has not the experimental branch, but it has assumptions and axioms instead. Then the further proceeding is the same.
The technological following consists of computer science with its technology “programming”.
From this follows for school education: There should be both, a theoretical and a practical education, adapted to the different age of the pupils and school levels.
general education: understanding scientific theory formation and                                                      verification computer science education (programming,                                    software engineering, internet)
                                    awareness of different influences
specific education:       in primary school: understanding application                                                       instructions of devices and machines.
                                        in secondary school: understanding and partitioning                                         problems, their solution,finding methods to solve the                                         partial problems, teamwork
                                        in high school: understanding the rules behind,                                                   planning, delegation, writing and speaking
Two citations from famous authors:
Kästner: Es gibt nichts gutes, ausser man tut es.
Nietzsche: Nur zum Schaffen sollt ihr lernen.

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