1.4 it is more than …

An interesting sidelight on engineering is provided by the US National Academy of Engineering report written in 2008 entitled Changing the Conversation [National Academy of Engineering, 2009]. This contains the comment: ‘… current messages are framed to emphasize the strong links between engineering and just one of its attributes – the need for mathematics and science skills. In other words, current messages often ignore other vital characteristics of engineering such as creativity, teamwork and communication.’ You will find this view is reinforced by many innovative practitioners of engineering education. In a detailed survey following the publication of this report, Pawley [2009] found that academic engineers (i.e. those of us who teach it) see their discipline as being about three things: applied science and mathematics; solving problems, and; making things. One of the questions we should ask ourselves is ‘do we expose our students to enough of the second and third of these?’


Changing the Conversation has been updated more recently by NAE in a booklet entitled Messaging for Engineering: From Research to Action [NAE, 2013].

Read on …  (but first leave a comment)

5 All Responses to “1.4 it is more than …”

  1. Peter Goodhew

    Again, NMiTE is working on these issues

  2. Stylli Charalampous

    To answer your question at the end. I say no, but it is getting better. We sometimes forget that learning is far more important than our teaching. Practitioners need to give students opportunities to investigate and apply what they already know. In other words lets not under estimate what they know and can deduce. If we make the activities for problem solving and making things interesting students will want to learn more and with the internet the theory is all there for them in their own time.

  3. Zacarias chamberlain


  4. Zacarias chamberlain

    Reading continue

  5. Rao Bhamidimarri

    Agreed. We have been working in this area for several years and redisgned undergraduate engineering curriculum. The challenge is to lecturers to deliver the innovative curriculum. And the problem is not just with the teachers, but the employers priorities are short term focused leading to increased emphasis on tools, techniques and problem solving.


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