Higher Education

, Volume 71, Issue 6, pp 781–790 | Cite as

Linking the ‘know-that’ and ‘know-how’ knowledge through games: a quest to evolve the future for science and engineering education

Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Possible futures for Science and Engineering Education


This paper responds to Muller’s notions of ‘knowing-that’ and ‘knowing how’. The paper addresses how educational interventions that are designed in line with targeted discipline-specific subjects can enhance the balance between professional practice and disciplinary knowledge in professionally accredited programmes at universities of technology. The context is a Dental Technology programme at a University of Technology in South Africa. Teaching through discipline-specific games, conceptualised from a game literacies perspective, is proposed as an engaging, interactive pedagogy for learning disciplinary knowledge that potentially encourages access to a particular affinity group. The authors use concepts from Bernstein and Maton to investigate whether epistemic relations or social relations are emphasised through board and digital games designed for two Dental Technology subjects. This paper offers valuable insight into alternative pedagogies that can be adopted into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education with the aim of paving a pathway towards Muller’s Scenario 3.


Discipline-specific games Dental Technology Specialisation codes Epistemological access 



The financial assistance of the National Research Foundation (DAAD-NRF) towards this research is hereby acknowledged. Opinions expressed and conclusions arrived at are those of the authors and are not necessarily to be attributed to the DAAD-NRF.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Dental Sciences, Dental Technology ProgrammeDurban University of Technology (DUT)DurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.Centre for Higher Education, Research Teaching and Learning (CHERTL)Rhodes University (RU)GrahamstownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Operations and Quality Management, Faculty of Management SciencesDurban University of Technology (DUT)DurbanSouth Africa

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