Asee peer logo

Fostering Reflective Habits and Skills in Graduate Engineering Education via the Arts and Humanities

Download Paper |

Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Endeavors: Engineering and Liberal Arts

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count

21

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34685

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34685

Download Count

117

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Ryan C. Campbell Texas Tech University

visit author page

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, arts & humanities in engineering, interdisciplinary engineering, social justice in engineering, care ethics in engineering, humanitarian engineering, engineering ethics.

visit author page

biography

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

visit author page

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.

visit author page

biography

Roman Taraban Texas Tech University

visit author page

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.

visit author page

biography

Jeong-Hee Kim Texas Tech University

visit author page

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.

visit author page

biography

Chongzheng Na Texas Tech University

visit author page

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.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Can the arts and humanities provide key perspectives for engineers in developing awareness of and interest in the environmental and sociotechnical impacts of engineering? How might essential habits and skills necessary for engineers to meaningfully address these impacts be learned using the arts and humanities? We are exploring such questions under a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop and assess a curriculum that explores methods of fostering reflective habits and skills in graduate students through activities involving the arts and humanities. Largely informed by the theories of John Dewey, Elliot Eisner, and Donald Schön, our experimental curriculum includes such activities as autobiographical writing with an accompanying art creation, reading about and discussing ethical dilemmas, practicing visual thinking strategies (VTS), writing weekly reflective essays, reading and discussing fiction with strong environmental justice themes, and even collaborating on art projects with graduate students in the School of Art. Incorporating aspects of the arts and humanities to complement engineering thought and action is a critical component of our work, which we describe as developing reflective engineers through artful methods.

In this paper, we present findings from two instantiations of a newly designed graduate course in civil/environmental engineering that integrates the arts and humanities. The objective of our course is to develop engineers who are more reflective than traditionally trained engineers and are thereby better able to: (a) understand and address the complexities of modern real-world challenges, (b) make better ethical decisions, and (c) serve the public not only with technical engineering skills but with mindfulness of and sensitivity to the complex social, cultural, and environmental contexts their work. Thus far, results have been encouraging from both our surveys (reported here) and our analyses of student interviews and writing samples (reported elsewhere). For example, aggregate results from the pre/post Likert-type surveys (n = 19) showed statistically significant increases in Insight, which is a metacognitive factor central to the process of purposeful & directed change (p < 0.02, d > 0.3) and in Contextual Competence, which is an engineering-specific measure of contextual understand (p < 0.001, d > 0.8). We also observed potentially significant increases in Reflective Skepticism (p < 0.1, d > 0.3), which is a measure of reflection regarding the tendency to learn from one’s past experiences and be questioning of evidence, and in Interdisciplinary Skills (p < 0.3, d > 0.3). These self-reported survey results, despite the small number of participants, suggest clear potential that engineering students can develop their capacity for reflection through arts- and humanities-based activities.

Campbell, R. C., & Reible, D. D., & Taraban, R., & Kim, J., & Na, C. (2020, June), Fostering Reflective Habits and Skills in Graduate Engineering Education via the Arts and Humanities Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34685

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: © 2020 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