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Constructivism And Beyond: The Learning Theory That Supports

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Professional Graduate Education & Industry

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.348.1 - 10.348.6



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Paper Authors

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Albert McHenry

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

Session 1455

Constructivism: The Learning Theory That Supports Competency Development of Engineers For Engineering Practice and Technology Leadership Through Graduate Education A. L. McHenry, 1 D. R. Depew, 2 M. J. Dyrenfurth, 2 D. D. Dunlap, 3 D. A. Keating, 4 T. G. Stanford, 4 P. Lee, 5 G. Deloatch 6

Arizona State University East1/ Purdue University 2/ Western Carolina University 3 University of South Carolina 4 / California Polytechnic State University 5 / Morgan State University 6


This is the first of four papers prepared for a special panel session focusing on approaches and processes that represent the current insight into the way humans learn. It is particularly focused on how this knowledge is poised to guide professional graduate engineering education for creative engineering practice and leadership of technological innovation to enhance U.S. competitiveness. This panel session is a part of the evolutionary development effort being made to energize the members of the American Society of Engineering Education response to the urgency of engineering education reform, voiced by Wm. A. Wulf, president of the National Academy of Engineering in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) 2002 Annual Conference’s-Main Plenary Address1. As the panel leadoff paper of this session it introduces Constructivism as the learning theory and process that is most efficient in the development of professional competence. And that effectively guides the philosophical frameworks or curriculum approaches that prepares engineering and engineering technology students at all levels for the execution of integrative functions that are particular to the requirements of industrial practice and systems operations and management. Constructivist learning approach can be crucial in the enablement of sitting professionals making the jump to the leading edge of the practice-focused engineering that requires massive constructed intellectual fusion. This paper raises fundamental questions that must be answered to design a complementary applications competent engineering workforce through the higher education processes to significantly increase the size of the pool of such engineers who are needed to meet the leadership requirements of modern industry and government.


In 2003 the ASEE copyrighted the following definition of engineers: “Engineers are problem solvers, people who search for quicker, better, less expensive ways to use the forces and materials of nature to meet tough challenges. Throughout the ages, from the building of the Egyptian pyramids to the landing on the moon, engineers have been the shapers of progress. The ever-increasing influence and rapid advance of technology demands a skilled and highly educated technically capable workforce. From defense, to global infrastructure such as “Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

McHenry, A. (2005, June), Constructivism And Beyond: The Learning Theory That Supports Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14176

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