June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.683.1 - 15.683.12
Implementing Ethics Across Engineering Curricula Abstract
This paper explores the origins, rationale and implementation of a faculty development workshop in ethics for engineering faculty. This is part of the development of an ethics across the curriculum approach to prepare undergraduate engineers for their professional responsibilities. The workshop emerged from research into the “best practices” of ethics education for engineers, sponsored by the Dean of the College of Engineering and conducted by an ethics faculty member and a Philosophy Ph.D. candidate. The results of that research pointed toward the ethics across the curriculum approach, which the Dean endorsed. The workshop was identified as the beginning of a long term effort to introduce ethics across the curriculum with the hope of shifting the academic culture of this professional school so that ethics and professional responsibility take a more central role in the education of future engineers. The authors hope that the narrative of this project, as well as the details of the workshop, will provide inspiration and insight for other engineering programs with a desire to pursue similar goals.
This paper will examine a faculty workshop offered in the College of Engineering at Villanova University. The workshop represents a first step in the creation of a robust ethics across the curriculum approach to prepare undergraduate engineers for their professional lives. The authors intend this paper to be a means of sharing the experience of our institution with engineering faculty and institutions that might be able to garner some wisdom, if not inspiration, from the efforts reported on in this paper.
Rationale for Ethics Across the Curriculum
A primary goal for engineering education at Villanova University is that students be prepared to enter the profession as responsible actors. This is not a unique desire on the part of the university, as it is enshrined in the ABET criteria1 by which the institution is regularly measured. Rather than take a lowest common denominator approach to meeting those criteria related to responsible engineering, Villanova has committed itself to achieving a high level of integration and measureable success in preparing professionally responsible engineers. The institution already has a high degree of success in the technical preparation of its engineers, as evident in the degree of professional success that its graduates have experienced. However, Villanova desires to have a higher level of integration of professional ethics across its curricula than it currently has. This desire is supported by a survey of best practices on ethics education in engineering curricula around the United States.
During the summer of 2007 the Dean of the College, Gary Gabriele, Ph.D., sponsored research on best practices in ethics education in engineering curricula. This research was accomplished by Mark Doorley, Ph.D., Director of the Ethics Program, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Anne Grenchus, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Philosophy, Villanova University. An extensive analysis of the current approach to ethics education in the college, as well as a review of the literature on the topic and a review of the curricula at various engineering programs in the
Glynn, E., & Falcone, F., & Doorley, M. (2010, June), Implementing Ethics Across Engineering Curricula Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16140
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