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A Peace Paradigm For Engineering Education: A Dissenter’s View

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Global Issues in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.84.1 - 9.84.8



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Paper Authors

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George Catalano

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Paper No. 2004-1253

A Peace Paradigm for Engineering Education: A Dissenter’s View Dr. George D. Catalano Department of Mechanical Engineering, The State University of New York at Binghamton


Proposed modifications to ABET Criterion 3 are described which are based on a peace paradigm for engineering education. The Integral Model of Education for Peace, Democracy and Sustainable Development developed in response to the Earth Charter is used as a basis for the implementing the model in engineering education. Examples are provided for beginning an implementation of the integral model into engineering courses.

Introduction Former Massachusetts’s congressional representative and Jesuit priest, Robert F. Drinan, suggested that to serve as a university faculty member is, in his words, “to be a member of the priesthood of the intellect.”1 At its best, what values can we ascribe to such a community of scholars? Some that come immediately to mind are: selfless service to the greater community and the common good as well as contemplative action in pursuit of peace and justice. Yet today, in my view, such ideals are sadly lacking from engineering education. Rather there is an ever-tightening knot linking the university to corporate interests and an ever-increasing emphasis on developing “exit-skills” in our students that will help propel them to make even greater profits for their employers. Yes, there is a reference to the value-laden dimension of the engineering profession, its effects on the environment, society and the globe. These concerns are addressed in Criterion 3 and 4 in the most recent Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology guidelines.2 From my personal experience as an engineering educator, Criterion 3 and 4 are the most difficult to accomplish and document. Also from my experience, while every school must pay attention in principle to these criteria, an adequate addressing of some of the issues raised by the two criteria seems as an afterthought for many faculty members. Even more troubling is the almost enthusiastic tone that many general engineering publications have taken in describing the advanced weaponry and technological wizardry displayed by the United States and its coalition forces in the ongoing war in Iraq. Over the course of the last several decades, there has been much discussion of the need to move engineering education from a teacher-centered model of learning to a student-centered model. I would argue that equally as important is a movement towards a paradigm of peace.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Catalano, G. (2004, June), A Peace Paradigm For Engineering Education: A Dissenter’s View Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12873

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