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Integrating Ethics In Aec Education

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Teaching Innovations in Architectural Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.735.1 - 8.735.7



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Paper Authors

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Gouranga Banik

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

Session 1406

Integrating Ethics in AEC Education

Gouranga C. Banik, Ph.D., P.E.

School of Architecture, Civil Engineering Technology and Construction Southern Polytechnic State University Marietta, GA 30060

Abstract The construction industry needs to create a more professional work environment in order to attract the best and brightest people that the industry will need in the future. This type of professional work environment can only be created by strict adherence to a strong code of ethics. A trend toward a more ethical and professional work environment will allow the construction industry to better compete for the talented and experienced people that will be needed in the future. The industry has growing concern about ethical behavior of new employees and prospective employees. The industry typically states that one of their most valuable assets is their reputation and that their reputation is directly related to their ethical behavior. The construction industry as a whole will be better off when the majority of the employees will become aware of their ethical responsibilities to the people, the workers and the industry. This article describes the importance of ethics in the AEC profession; how it can be integrated into the undergraduate curriculum; and how it can be taught.

Key Words: Ethics, AEC Education, Construction, Curriculum

Introduction Most Architecture-Engineering-Construction (AEC) students find themselves ill-equipped and unprepared to handle difficult ethical problems in the workplace due to a lack of adequate exposure in their education. Proper ethical training and education helps the students to recognize dilemmas, to employ moral imagination and obligation, and to recognize compartmentalization when addressing these dilemmas. It also enables professionals to differentiate between common morality and professional ethics (Harris, Davis, Pritchard, & Rabins, 1996).

The major approach to teach engineering-technical ethics follows pedagogical practices of law, medicine and business (Self & Ellison, 1998) case-studies, which are now being used increasingly to teach design and construction as well as ethics (Harris, Davis, Pritchard, & Rabins, 1995). Case studies provide an opportunity for a kind of vicarious mentoring, in which the student is taken through a compressed version of a real dilemma, debates alternatives, makes a choice, and is shown expert solutions. It is often productive to use codes with these cases to serve as a starting point for developing a deeper understanding of ethical dilemmas.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Banik, G. (2003, June), Integrating Ethics In Aec Education Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12530

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