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Generational Teaching & Learning Of Engineering Knowledge

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.661.1 - 10.661.11



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Paper Authors

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John Mingle

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Tom Roberts

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

Session 1351


John O. Mingle, Ph.D., J.D., Tom C. Roberts, P.E. Kansas State University


Modern times mean the cybernetic revolution, which is composed of the latent information age, the rising knowledge age, and the future wisdom age. These changes will make current engi- neers trained only in information obsolete – replaced by computers. Therefore, to prepare engi- neers for the future, engineering faculty must master knowledge teaching.

Students will be members of the Millennial Generation for the next two decades and will be a blend of self-controlled concrete/linear learners. Conversely, the younger faculty is of the X Generation, which shows strong abstract/random thinking, individualism, and increasing prag- matism with aging. Further, the senior faculty represents the Boomer Generation whose virtues characterize individualistic, spiritual/moralistic, and uncompromising qualities. This clash of generations will be a continuing challenge to the engineering education profession and is a prime subject of this paper.

Traditionally, knowledge is obtained from selected information. Yet, in the knowledge age, a broader interpretation hastens this from a noun to a verb basis. The result is knowledging, which will allow the solving of new and different technical problems during the 21st Century. However, knowledging is reversible – knowledge decays first to informatics then to routine information as information overload floods communication.

Undergraduate engineering must begin knowledging by stressing insight, leading to new and im- proved problem solving throughout the curriculum, culminating with more diversified capstone design courses. However, knowledging needs to occur all through the undergraduate curriculum, and such a responsibility will definitely challenge department and college administrators.

The teaching design as explained in this paper represents a reversal of conventional professorial assignments, for the younger faculty, the X Generation, will teach the advanced courses, and the older faculty, the Boomer Generation, the beginning courses. Consequently the students, the Millennial Generation, will be exposed to a unique understanding of engineering education incorporating knowledging.


The authors have published manuscripts concerning the impact of Generations Theory on engi- neering education at the ASEE National Meetings in 2002 and 2004 and ASEE Section Meetings

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Mingle, J., & Roberts, T. (2005, June), Generational Teaching & Learning Of Engineering Knowledge Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14368

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