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Philosophy and Engineering Education; should teachers have a philosophy of Education?

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

The Philosophy of Engineering and Technological Literacy

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

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Paper Authors


John Heywood Trinity College-Dublin

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John Heywood is professorial Fellow Emeritus of Trinity College Dublin- The University of Dublin. He is a Fellow of ASEE and Life Fellow of IEEE. He has special interest in education for the professions and the role of professions in society. He is author of Engineering Education. research and development in Curriculum and Instruction. His most recent book is The Assessment of learning in Engineering Education. Practice and Policy.

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Abstract. Arguments for engineering educators having a formalated philosophy of engineering education are presented. The perspectives that a person takes to moral dilemmas will be driven by the beliefs they have about the nature of morality and truth. Similarly, the beliefs that a person has about the content of the curriculum, instruction and learning will, in all likelihood be founded on one of the great ‘isms of philosophy. A discussion of the debate that followed the publication of the proposed revision of the ABET criteria is used to illustrate the argument. As would be expected at a conference such debates are conducted at a “surface” level when they need to be conducted at a “depth” level. But this cannot happen without every engineering educator being versed in the philosophies that these different positions embrace. It is doubtful if hard and fast positions would then be maintained, and it would be strange if there was no renewal of the curriculum with an attendant restructuring. Such is the need for professional training in pedagogy in which educators are given the opportunity to explore a variety of philosophies, and learning approaches..

Heywood, J. (2017, June), Philosophy and Engineering Education; should teachers have a philosophy of Education? Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28740

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