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Reconstructing and Deconstructing Engineering Education: Tools to Interpret Engineering Philosophies

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

The Philosophy of Engineering and Technological Literacy

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1314.1 - 26.1314.11



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Paper Authors


George D. Ricco Gonzaga University, Spokane

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George D. Ricco is the KEEN Program Coordinator at Gonzaga University in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. He completed his doctorate in engineering education from Purdue University’s School of Engineering Education. Previously, he received a M.S. in earth and planetary sciences studying geospatial imaging and a M.S. in physics studying high-pressure, high-temperature FT-IR spectroscopy in heavy water, both from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He holds a B.S.E. in engineering physics with a concentration in electrical engineering from Case Western Reserve University. His academic interests include longitudinal analysis, visualization, semantics, team formation, gender issues, existential phenomenology, and lagomorph physiology. He lives in romantic Spokane with his leporidae partner, Rochelle Huffington Nibblesworth.

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Reconstructing and Deconstructing Engineering Education: Tools to Interpret Engineering  Philosophies  With the recent deluge of attempts at forming a more coherent and aligned philosophy of engineering education, a demand for an application of traditional continental methods should be apparent. Even the definition of the field itself is available for scrutiny, and within that framework, a number of interesting paradigms can be discussed. This paper intends to apply approaches mainly from Heidegger’s works on metaphysics compared to modern engineering education philosophies. These approaches include interpretations of commonly used words, the intentionality of various constructs within the field, and to whom these constructs affect.  Of key importance to the future of the field of philosophy of engineering education is its self‐expression, not to be confused with the often‐used term agency. In one sense, engineering education can be expressed from the vantage point of engineers and educators and their respective communities, and the community efforts must be addressed to fully understand the definition of engineering education. It should be understood that the lens used to study both engineering and education in terms of a philosophy such as Heidegger’s is fundamentally a lens of abstraction focused primarily on the self, thus some of the previous work in the community must be reevaluated to better prepare for the incorporation of community into this work. Furthermore, engineering education from the framework chosen can be worded as how the self becomes more capable of assimilating and appreciating the negotiation of the unobjective into corporeal form. These constructs are tied to recent publications and contemporary philosophical approaches.  

Ricco, G. D. (2015, June), Reconstructing and Deconstructing Engineering Education: Tools to Interpret Engineering Philosophies Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24651

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