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Exploring Ways to Develop Reflective Engineers: Toward Phronesis-Centered Engineering Education

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

21

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32819

Download Count

6

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Paper Authors

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Jeong-Hee Kim Texas Tech University

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Jeong-Hee Kim is Professor of Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University. Kim is a curriculum theorist, teacher educator, and narrative inquiry methodologist. Her research centers on various epistemological underpinnings of curriculum studies, particularly engaging in hermeneutical excavation of the stories of students and teachers around the notion of Bildung, a human way of developing or cultivating one’s capacity. She received the Faculty Outstanding Researcher Award in 2018 from Texas Tech University, and the Outstanding Publication Award from the American Education Research Association in 2017 for her book, Understanding Narrative Inquiry, published in 2016 with SAGE. She has published numerous articles in journals including Journal of Curriculum Studies, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and Educational Philosophy and Theory.

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Ryan C. Campbell Texas Tech University

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Having completed his Ph.D. through the University of Washington's interdisciplinary Individual Ph.D. Program (see bit.ly/uwiphd), Ryan is now a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas Tech University. He currently facilitates an interdisciplinary project entitled "Developing Reflective Engineers through Artful Methods." His scholarly interests include both teaching and research in engineering education, art in engineering, social justice in engineering, care ethics in engineering, humanitarian engineering, engineering ethics, and computer modeling of electric power and renewable energy systems.

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Ngan T.T. Nguyen Texas Tech University

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Ngan Nguyen is a research assistant and doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University. Her research is focused on fostering the learning experiences of Asian international graduate students in higher education.

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Roman Taraban Texas Tech University

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Roman Taraban is Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University. He received his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. His interests are in how undergraduate students learn, and especially, in critical thinking and how students draw meaningful connections in traditional college content materials.

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Danny D. Reible P.E. Texas Tech University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-3188-9709

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Dr. Danny D. Reible is the Donovan Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair at Texas Tech University. He was previously the Bettie Margaret Smith Chair of Environmental Health Engineering in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering and the Director of the Center for Research in Water Resources at the University of Texas in Austin. Dr. Reible holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer, a Professional Engineer (Louisiana), and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005 for the “development of widely used approaches for the management of contaminated sediments”. His research is focused on the fate, transport, and management of contaminants in the environment and the sustainable management of water resources.

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Chongzheng Na Texas Tech University

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Chongzheng Na is an associate professor at Texas Tech University. He graduated from Tsinghua University (B.E.), Pennsylvania State University (M.S.), and University of Michigan (Ph.D.). Before joining Texas Tech, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and an assistant professor at University of Notre Dame. His research and teaching interests include developing innovative water treatment technologies and incorporating knowledge related to such efforts in the environmental engineering curriculum.

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Abstract

The purpose of this work-in-progress research paper is to explore how engineering students’ phronesis (ethical judgement or practical wisdom) can be fostered in an interdisciplinary graduate course that incorporates the arts and humanities. We present our research findings and implications from the data gathered from an innovative pilot course taught at a university in the south-central United States. Using the philosophical concept of phronesis as a guiding theoretical framework, we examined the writing of ten engineering graduate students who were enrolled in the course. The corpus of data included pre- and post-course essays, autobiographies, and samples of weekly reflective writing completed after reading about and discussing ethical dilemmas and other contextual considerations of engineering work. The data were analyzed inductively and deductively, generating categories and themes from coded data (bottom-up) as well as observing categories and themes implied in the course activities (top-down). The findings indicate preliminary signs concerning the students’ development of phronesis through each week’s learning activities. For example, they learned to be more open to others’ ideas while simultaneously doubtful of their own thinking. They also became more attentive to the question of morality and ethics when considering engineering applications. Particularly, they learned to connect local engineering issues to broader implications. The significance of the study is three-fold: First, it shows an example of the value of educational theory and philosophy in advancing engineering education using the philosophical notion of phronesis. Second, the findings suggest the potential effectiveness of the curriculum that integrates the arts and humanities in cultivating engineering students’ development of phronesis to become reflective practitioners. Lastly, the implications of our research provide future directions for improving and even rethinking engineering education.

Kim, J., & Campbell, R. C., & Nguyen, N. T., & Taraban, R., & Reible, D. D., & Na, C. (2019, June), Exploring Ways to Develop Reflective Engineers: Toward Phronesis-Centered Engineering Education Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32819

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015