June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.55.1 - 24.55.7
The American Society for Engineering Education is the oldest professional society in the world that issolely dedicated to the betterment of engineering education. In its early days, ASEE was a gatheringof faculty who wanted to improve the practice of engineering education through experimentationwith new curricula, new teaching styles, or new gadgets. Presentations often consisted of “this iswhat I did” and “this is how the students reacted.” Beginning in the 1990s, through the influx offederal dollars in the Coalitions, a new discipline began to emerge—Engineering Education—andalong with this discipline a research area was born. At this point in time, the concept of rigorousEngineering Education Research (EER) is fairly well-established in the US, with dedicated programsfor EER at the National Science Foundation, PhD degree programs in EER, and the reinvention of theJournal of Engineering Education to support this endeavour. Departments dedicated at least in partto Engineering Education Research are emerging on campuses across the country. There has alsobeen an emergence of Engineering Education Research across the globe; however, efforts in othercountries have often been slower due to many factors.This paper describes the history of Engineering Education Research in two countries in the EuropeanUnion—Portugal and Ireland using as a framework Fensham’s Criteria for Defining the Field ofScience Education Research. The evolution of EER in these two countries will be set in a largerglobal context.The contribution of the paper is two-fold: firstly it will provide a snapshot of the evolution of EER inthese two countries which can be used as a benchmark for future studies of the two nationalcontexts; in addition the approach presented can be readily adapted to inform research in otherglobal contexts.
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