June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.759.1 - 12.759.8
Fostering Moral Autonomy of Future Engineers Through Engineering Classrooms
The goal of engineering ethics instruction according to Fleddermann is to help future engineers develop “the ability to think critically and independently about moral issues and to apply this moral thinking…to professional engineering practice”. 3 In order to develop this independent approach or moral autonomy, engineering programs across the nation should consider the individuals’ emerging personal code of ethics and the role their campus integrity policies could play in fostering the individuals’ emerging personal code of ethics.
This presentation focuses on how to provide a learning continuum where student’s can reflect, mentor each other and provide opportunities to share their emerging moral autonomy. Successful techniques are presented that have been proven to be very useful in providing this required instruction to future professionals.
Character without knowledge is weak and feeble, but knowledge without character is dangerous and a potential menace to society. Character and knowledge together are the twin goals of true education. Boston Latin Grammar School, 17th century1
All engineering curriculums are now required to implement the ABET Code of Ethics as defined in the “Engineering Criteria 2000” 2 document. In implementing this code Gee cautions that, “blind devotion to ethical codes will not address the ethical concerns of the engineering profession. The study of engineering ethics must therefore begin with the study of personal values. The final burden is upon the individual’s conscience and values.” 4 Engineering ethics curriculums should emphasize that all decisions-both professional and personal-are based on one’s values. No one makes decisions of any kind in a moral vacuum; no decision is value-free. Beginning professionals need to be made aware of this reality, as it is germane to developing professional integrity. When individuals have had the opportunity to explore and develop their own moral autonomy, this moral framework then serves as an explicit roadmap for any decision they make.
Fleddermann in Engineering Ethics cites that the goal of engineering ethics can be summed up in the term “moral autonomy”.3 He defines moral autonomy as the ability of the professional to think critically and independently about moral issues and to apply this moral thinking to situations that arise in professional engineering practice.
Marshall, J., & Marshall, J. (2007, June), Fostering Moral Autonomy Of Future Engineers Through Engineering Classrooms Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1672
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: © 2007 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