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Strong Inference: The Continuous Improvement Of Engineering Management

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.394.1 - 1.394.5

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Paper Authors

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Mario G. Beruvides

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

I —-. . Session 2542 .



Mario G. Beruvides Industrial Engineering Department, Texas Tech University

Abstract “The first requisite for a good teacher is that he have something to teach. His aim should be to give inspiration and direction to students for further study. To do this, a teacher must possess knowledge of the subject. The only operational definition of knowledge requisite for teaching is research~’ (Deming, 1986; p. 173).. This quote is at the heart of one of the major debates that exists and has existed for some time between “educators” and “researchers.” Many faculty members see a distinct defamation between good educators and good researchers. Others like Deming, believe that research is in fact a prerequisite for good teaching. This debate also encompasses many of the principle issues that comprise a discipline of study. Specifically, the strength or weakness of a discipline can be direetly related to the strength and weakness of the research being conducted by its practitioners and researchers. Does the discipline have specific research agendas? h they visible and well defined? These issues and the implications they have on Engineering Management curricula, instruction, and pedagogy am examined in this paper. The issues covered in this paper are presented to stimulate a debate on current Engineering Management curricula and instruction as well as the possible avenues which may develop in the future.

Introduction -. There has been a longstanding beliefl in higher education that professors are either good teachers or good researchers but not both. If by chance one comes in contact with a good teacher that is also a good researcher, it is considered an oddity, an aberation. It is the fourleaf clover in the garden of education. But is it? And even more importantly, does it have to be? In fact this belief is so ingrained in our psyche that it has gone from the descriptive realm to that of the prescriptive. Many faculty see themselves as one or the other. The~ are those who have excellent pedagogical skills who love teaching and being with students and partake in research as a necessary evil. On the other hand, many who have that deep passion and respeet for the search for knowledge (research) see teaching as the bitter pill that must be swallowed to be allowed the opportunity for lab time.

1 This belief may be classified as a myth by some and a reality by others. The truth probably lies somewhere+ between these two extremes.

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Beruvides, M. G. (1996, June), Strong Inference: The Continuous Improvement Of Engineering Management Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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