Instruction in an Imperfect Science -- Challenges in Defining – and Teaching – Technology around 1800
Around 1800, as today, the role of technology in the classroom went well beyond the study and use of technical objects. As a science and an academic discipline, technology was notoriously difficult to define, given the inordinate number of tools, instruments, and practices it encompassed, and its connections to other disciplines. This essay introduces readers to writers of important technological treatises, such as Johann Beckmann and Georg Lamprecht, who struggled to apply a sound theoretical order to teaching an imperfect science. It also considers a connection between technological theory and an idealized classroom experience, both of which relied upon subsuming the manifold of technological parts within a single trained gaze.
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