Asee peer logo

Inspiring Students — The Key To Learning For The Future

Download Paper |

Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Preparing Civil Engineering Students for a Flat World

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

12.903.1 - 12.903.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2722

Download Count

34

Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Scott Hamilton U.S. Military Academy

author page

Fred Meyer U.S. Military Academy

Download Paper |

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

Inspiring Students—The Key To Learning For The Future

Abstract

This paper considers the implications of preparing engineering students to enter, live, and be successful in a “Flat World.” Clearly the exact needs of the future are not known for certain, but we do know that civil engineers of the future will need to be flexible, adaptive, life long learners. All academic institutions and all disciplines aim at preparing students for the future, at our institution the mission statement begins with “To educate, train, and inspire ….” While the entire mission is specifically geared toward the unique role of our institution and encompasses many areas beyond a traditional undergraduate education, it holds what the authors think is the key to preparing students for the uncertainty and challenges of the future and their current learning—to educate, train and inspire. The authors feel that educating and training alone are not enough; it is only with the addition of inspiration that we will create life long learners and ensure their education adequately prepares them for a dynamic and uncertain future.

In considering the changing and increasingly flat world, the role of the traditional educational process, teaching concepts, theories, methodologies, etc. cannot be minimized. In fact, the role of this type of education is increasingly important to their success. In the future, students will certainly need fundamental skills as assuredly as they need them today. However, much more will be required of them than what we teach them today; we must prepare them to not only learn pertinent skills for today but more importantly create in them a yearning for and an ability to become life long learners. The authors propose that the ability to become a life long learner is best achieved through inspiration, which should be a critical part of their undergraduate educational process. This paper considers various educational theories dealing with motivation for learning, recommendations from ABET and The Engineer of 2020 and highlights their calls for what we term “inspiring students.” The paper then analyzes various effects and parts of a civil engineering program to include guest speakers, case studies, field trips, summer enrichment opportunities, ASCE Student Chapter events, and service learning projects that can be used to do more than merely educate and train students, but also to inspire them.

Introduction

The purpose of any educational endeavor is to impart learning; for engineering education, an additional practical element is included to provide students with the necessary skills and attributes to prepare them for their future applications of engineering. At this point, the exact needs of the future are not known; but we do know that engineers of the future will need to be flexible, adaptive, life long learners. Much has been written about the future our students will encounter, where the “world is flat,” more technologically based, and subject to rapid advances in all fields. All academic institutions and disciplines aim at preparing students for the future, our department’s current mission statement is: “To educate cadets in civil and mechanical engineering, such that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character who can understand, implement, and manage technology; and to inspire cadets to a career in the United States Army and a lifetime of personal growth and service.” This mission statement represents an intentional change that took place in August 2004 and was made very deliberately to emphasized the inspire

Hamilton, S., & Meyer, F. (2007, June), Inspiring Students — The Key To Learning For The Future Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2722

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