June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.4.1 - 15.4.7
EXPANDING TECHNOLOGICAL LITERACY THROUGH ENGINEERING MINOR (Due to the nature of this study, the names of the schools etc are not hidden from the reviewer, we apologize however, without the names the essence of this project could not be correctly captured)
This paper describes our effort to design, implement, and expand a valid platform for providing a technological literacy program that is adaptable for a wide range of engineering educational institutions. In order to achieve this we have established a synergetic collaboration between Iowa State University, Ohio State University, Hope College, and Rice University. Each school has initiated programs or classes in technological literacy and with this project we will be working to expand on the efforts and unify our activities and establishing working models for technological literacy in a form of engineering minor programs offered by engineering units. The minors are not intended to instill detailed engineering design-level abilities in non-engineers. Instead, the minor aims to develop the broad understanding and practical technological competence outlined by the National Academy of Engineering in reports such as Technically Speaking1. Thus decoupled from the engineering majors, the Minor in Engineering Studies at Iowa State for example has attracted students majoring in business, communications, journalism, and design. Minors can provide a recognized credential deemed attractive by many students. This paper will be introducing our goals and early effort in this research effort. The goal will be to develop the concepts and resources to support and define an appropriate minor structure that can be adopted efficiently and widely within American higher education.
There is a national need for better technological literacy. Many studies show that future success of many nations are based on the infusion of technological literacy among the masses. Consequently, the goal for expanding technological literacy has become one of the most immediate focus of engineering educators, and the National Academy of Engineering. However, the effective way for engineering educators to educate non technical people with technological literacy is not an easy path. There have been many successful efforts to pave this path and there have been successful nationally known classes and in some cases programs that attempted to achieve technical education to non- technical students. As expected, there have been more than several US institutions that offer classes in this domain.1-10.
The structure of our institutions of higher education has made it difficult for non- engineers to develop any depth of understanding about engineering and technology. The engineering major has an elaborate curriculum, requires substantial prerequisite courses, and is a difficult pursuit to combine with another field of study10-15. Science courses
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