The different pieces in this section all converge on a single question about the education of engineers. What they separately offer is a sense of the scope and dimensions of that question, the sense of what is at stake in posing it in the first place. Peter Brödner’s paper identifies the problem in terms of two different traditions of belief about knowledge and practice. This finds an echo in the contrast Kate Startin discovers between ‘high-tech’ and ‘low-tech’ professionals in the software industry. Richard Ennals approaches the same problem from the perspective of national educational policy. Albert Danielsson provides a case study of what it means in practice to change the way engineers are educated by linking a technical and scientific education to an understanding of the cultural and practical forces at work in knowledge formation. Jon Monk’s “Enigma Variations” builds on the immediately preceding section of this volume in its unfolding of the myth of Turing, in a way that draws out how easily discomforted our assumptions are not simply about Turing but about what it means to learn, or identify a machine as intelligent, or establish firm distinctions between hardware and software. Our knowledge of these things is finely implicated in the languages and cultures we inherit and in a manner that resists all attempts to break out into an unshadowed world of objective knowledge and transparent procedure. Ingela Josefson’s account of conflicting traditions in the education of nurses shows that the problems addressed in this section are by no means confined to the education of engineers.


Tacit Knowledge Professional Education Objective Knowledge Software Industry Knowledge Formation 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1995

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  • Jon Cook

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