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Developing A Philosophy Of Practice: A New Approach

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

New Approaches in Engineering Curriculum

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.394.1 - 8.394.14



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Paper Authors

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Jay K. Martin

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Jay Martin

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Dayle K. Haglund

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Jennifer Kushner

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


Developing a Philosophy of Practice: A New Approach to Curricular Evolution in Engineering Education At the University of Wisconsin

Dayle K. Haglund, Jennifer Kushner, Jay K. Martin

University of Wisconsin-Madison


ABET EC20001 is remarkable in the flexibility allowed engineering departments in determining the content of their curriculum and the methodologies used to teach the curriculum. This flexibility is in sharp contrast to the prescriptive curricula previously specified by ABET. The change to ABET EC2000 should provide opportunity for departments to produce improved and responsive curricula for their students. By setting goals and measuring outcomes, ABET EC2000 is a framework for assisting departments to engage in a process of continuous review of their curriculum. As remarkable as the flexibility is, equally remarkable is the distinct lack of structure for the method a department should use in their process of continuous review.

An additional issue arises because it is not obvious how to assist get a department to move from where it is now to a department that is actively engaged in continuous review of the curriculum. Our experience has been that it is a challenge to engage faculty in an engineering department to employ this process. Despite some effort in looking, we have not been able to find a suitable means that would guide our department in growing toward a process of continuous review.

This paper describes a number of different things we have done to attempt to assist an engineering department in embedding the ABET idea as part of activities regarding curriculum. First, we describe a 4-step process involving feedback that could be useful in the review. We include a description of the theory behind the proposed structure. Next is a description of ideas and practical realities of faculty roles that must be accounted for if there is any chance for success in moving a department towards embedding this process. Finally, we describe an example of implementation that details what we have done and what we have learned.

Faculty and Curriculum Evolution

Faculty conversations about curricula are often difficult and include several factors that have a dominant effect on the conversation. First, conversation tends to focus on specific course details or course sequence content. This is in spite of the fact that very often it would be more appropriate to consider a particular issue in light of the entire curriculum.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Martin, J. K., & Martin, J., & Haglund, D. K., & Kushner, J. (2003, June), Developing A Philosophy Of Practice: A New Approach Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11816

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