Wolfgang Hörner

‘Technik’ and ‘Technology’: some consequences of terminological differences for educational policy-making

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART100136

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Abstract

This article questions the adoption in some recent British publications of the German term Technik. This term is interpreted in Britain as ‘third culture between science and the arts’ to be taught at school. By means of a brief comparison of the historical roots of the education of engineers in Great Britain and Germany in the nineteenth century, the author shows the theoretical and institutional differences of the origins of technical education in the two countries. In particular, the German attempt at an institutional and conceptual synthesis of the two logics – of academic science and technical efficiency – is emphasised as the real background of the terminological differences. In the light of this analysis, the particularity of German Technik is given a different accentuation: in Germany, Technik is not a third culture, but the guiding concept of professional training (including higher education). The results of the comparative analysis, however, change the perspectives of educational policy-making inasmuch as it refers to the new concept of Technik.