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Perceptions Of Engineering Education

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Faculty Attitudes and Perceptions

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.970.1 - 13.970.12



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Paper Authors


John Mativo The University of Georgia

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John Mativo teaches Energy Systems and Principles of Technology at The University of Georgia. His research interests include design and innovation, and engineering education. His university teaching totals twelve years six of which he served as Department of Technology Chair at the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton. He holds degrees in Engineering, Education, and Technology. He is a member of Sigma Xi, Epsilon Pi Tau, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Beta Delta.

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Maura Borrego Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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MAURA BORREGO is an assistant professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Dr. Borrego holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials
Science and Engineering from Stanford University. Her current research interests center around interdisciplinary collaboration in
engineering and engineering education, including studies of the collaborative relationships between engineers and education researchers. Investigations of interdisciplinary graduate programs nationawide are funded through her NSF CAREER award.

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

Perceptions of Engineering Education

Abstract The impact of engineering education seems to be felt in all veins of life. Its vastness and recent developments in and out of the field though, blurs what engineering education is. Inconsistent definitions of engineering education are depicted in the literature. One prominent view positions engineering education as a pipeline for developing future engineers by providing exploration and experimentation at the elementary and secondary educational levels. At the university level, it is viewed as a rigorous learning activity. With the recent creation of programs of Departments of Engineering Education in universities across the nation, a clearer understanding of the scope and definition of engineering education is warranted. To address this need, this presentation will review the results of a study that examined the current perceptions of engineering professionals about the scope and direction of engineering education. Members of three divisions of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) namely, Educational Research Methods (ERM), 38%; Engineering Technology Division (ETD), 33%; and K-12 Division (K-12), 29% were purposefully selected to participate. A majority of the data collected from the 380 respondents was conducted electronically. A series of one-way ANOVA revealed statistically significant differences in several key questions. Implications to engineering education are also discussed. Introduction and Literature Review Although engineering education has existed for decades, its definition has remained elusive. Founded in 1893 as the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education and later renamed the American Society for Engineering Education in 1946, it championed the propagation of engineers1. Seely (1999) explained that early pioneers in engineering education were determined to achieve recognition, prestige, and professional status that society accorded to law, medicine, and other professions. To do so, engineers distanced themselves from craftsmen and workers using the certification of higher education2. While successful in developing many areas of engineering specialization, debate has continued about the purpose and focus of engineering education. For example, the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (ECPD) authorized a study on how to make engineering a leader in problem solving3,4. Borrego (2007; Borrego et al., 2006) pointed out that engineering education should be a rigorous research community of practice5,6. Finally, Merill et al. (2006) proposed that engineering should be located at the secondary level to equip high school students with the analytical skills needed to approach to problem solving7. A more consistent view of engineering education seems warranted. In an effort to further refine the focus of engineering education, the purpose of this survey research was to determine ASEE members’ current perceptions toward engineering education and examine differences based on group affiliations. Research questions included: 1. Do ASEE members differ towards critical issues in Engineering Education based on group affiliations?

Mativo, J., & Borrego, M. (2008, June), Perceptions Of Engineering Education Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3846

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