Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.628.1 - 6.628.8
session 2661@ Division 61 Liberal Education
Integration of First-Year English with Introduction to Engineering Design with an Emphasis on Questions of Ethics Jeanne Garland, Sarah Duerden, Christine Helfers, & Ronald Roedel Department of English/Department of Electrical Engineering Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287
Fundamental to engineering education, and mandated by ABET is that students engage with questions of ethics. Too often, however, this does not occur until late in the student’s career. In the Foundation Coalition Freshman Integrated Program in Engineering at Arizona State University, we believe that concern for ethics must be integrated vertically into the curriculum beginning in the first year of the student’s career. This can be successfully achieved if freshman English and engineering design are integrated, as we have been able to do. We introduce our students in their first semester to the ancient rhetors’ concept of values and use that to explore specific engineering codes of ethics and decision-making tools employed in engineering. This foundation then allows students to critically analyze case histories and discover for themselves that ethical considerations are and must be part of the decision-making processes they employ, even when the tools they use cut out such considerations. This foundation allows us to then explore ethical considerations vertically throughout their careers as engineering students. Therefore, we urge educators to consider the possibility of developing integrated courses that allow students to connect the intellectual rhetorics of inquiry developed in freshman English classes with their engineering classes so that students can truly appreciate and comprehend the importance of ethics in their future professional lives.
In the past several years, ethical concerns have become a central focus of the public and news media, creating a new awareness of the ethical implications of decisions we make in our professional and private lives. This awareness, in part, is due to the serious consequences of some decisions that have led to loss of life, not to mention loss of credibility. The public has witnessed disasters such as Chernobyl, Bhopal, the Challenger, and the more recent Firestone/Ford catastrophe. The profession has responded with training in ethics in as well as guidelines or codes of ethical conduct in many professions, such as the National Professional Society of Engineers (NSPE) Code of Ethics.
The recent mandate by ABET to make ethics fundamental in engineering education points to the understanding of educators that, inevitably, students will one day face ethical dilemmas as professional engineers. Engineering students must engage with questions of ethics early in their education so that ethical concepts become part their thinking and development. In the
Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2001 American Society for Engineering Education
Garland, J., & Helfers, C., & Roedel, R., & Duerden, S. (2001, June), Integration Of First Year English With Introduction To Engineering Design With An Emphasis On Questions Of Ethics Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/9431
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