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Global Engineering Education Trends And Their Impacts On Brazilian Engineering Programs

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.228.1 - 1.228.5



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Paulo S. F. Barbosa

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

I -- —-.. Session 2360 :

..— Global Engineering Education Trends and Their Impacts on Brazilian Engineering Programs

Paulo S. F. Barbosa Civil Engineering Department State University of Campinas-Unicamp P.O. Box 6021, 13083-970, Campinas-SP, Brazil

Introduction There have been strong evidence and discussions about the need to redesign engineering curriculum in many countries throughout the world. For example, Landis[l] suggests a fbture in which most engineering tasks will involve the development and use of automated design tools, by both engineers and technologists. Hill[z] argues that the current system of engineering education was established with “old-era” industrialization as the ‘ framework for engineering and manufacturing, and that to meet the needs of the new era, a transformation of the curriculum is needed. As recognized by several authors (e.g., Kulacki and Vlachos[3] ), the coming of the post- industrkd society will fi.uther increase the demands for a flexible curriculum capable of adapting to quickly changing circumstances and to the requisites of a predominantly information-based culture. Of course the processes of curricular reform must encompass aspects beyond the older narrow curricular issues such as number of credits, disciplines, areas of specialized training, etc. As was pointed out by the National Science Foundation[41 there is a consensus that all aspects of engineering education should be reexamined, including the learning and t~aching processes, the learning environment, the effectiveness of engineering education, the preparation of students for lifelong learning, and the use of technology in education. Based on these broader concerns, this paper will present some recent influences of the discussions and trends in engineering education that have been occurring in developed countries (DC) over the processes of curricular reforms that have been taking placing in Brazil. With the aim of better understanding the ideas to be discussed, a short explanation of the framework the Brazilian engineering education system will be presented.

The ‘Brazilian Engineering Education System

Brazilian engineering education has traditionally been influenced by developed countries. In a first stage, from the second half of the nineteenth century up to 1950, the major contributions to Brazilian engineering programs has originated in Europe, especially France. Therefore, nowadays there are still some similarities between Brazilian engineering programs and European engineering programs, such as the five years required to complete the curriculum; the emphasis on a strong scientific foundation, etc. But primarily during the last three - decades, the U.S. engineering education model has had a major impact. This situation can be explained by the origin of several professors and the education of others in the US. Some groups of those professors assumed leadership positions at top universities, and in government and official research agencies. Thus, many Brazilian scientific and educational policies were based on American experience.

In Brazil around 40% of total enrollments at the undergraduate level is publicly owned. The majority of . . the institutions which adopted the “research university model” is found in the public education system, which

~#2&: } 1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings ‘.,.e~TEy

Barbosa, P. S. F. (1996, June), Global Engineering Education Trends And Their Impacts On Brazilian Engineering Programs Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6074

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