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Teaching Teachers To Teach Engineering

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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

1.427.1 - 1.427.7



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Paper Authors

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Jerry W. Samples

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C. Conley

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Thomas Lenox

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

Session 3630

Teaching Teachers to Teach Engineering

Christopher H. Conley, Jerry W. Samples, Thomas A. Lenox United States Military Academy


A few are born to be great artists, musicians, scientists, engineers and the myriad other vocations, but considering the numbers teaching engineering in the United States some significant number were probably not “born” teachers. The short course described in this paper has been developed to help engineering faculty improve their teaching. Topics addressed in the short course include preparation, presentation, self-critique, learning models, and different forms of teaching. Additional topics in the areas of teacher-student relations, ethics, tenure/promotion and time management are also addressed. Participants will prepare and present classes, be critiqued, and critique others. They are also expected to interact with faculty at their home institution to improve the teaching of others.

The short course has at its roots a teacher training program that has been ongoing at West Point since the 1940’s. The paper will briefly discuss this highly successful program and its relation to the planned short course. In addition to the authors, the latter two who have for many years run the aforementioned teacher training program, other West Point faculty, and faculty from other universities and institutions, will be involved in the planned short course. People who are both respected teachers and experienced in sponsored research, or administration, or learning models and student development, or some combination of the above, will be cooperating on this endeavor.

The first offering of the short course is scheduled for July, 1996. Funding to support the program is being provided under a grant from the National Science Foundation.


It may be that truly great teachers are born teachers, and would gain little from a program aimed at teaching teachers to teach, but for the rest of us such a program has many potential benefits. Probably the only aspect of teaching that cannot be improved with some instruction and practice is the heart-felt desire to educate, or convey knowledge, to one’s students. The pleasure gained from successfully conveying knowledge, and the pleasure gained from the personal learning that goes along with conveying knowledge, come naturally to those who have a place in the classroom.

The need for teacher training is well documented and recognized by all involved. The mere fact that this paper is being presented and that the short course is being supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), document the recognition of the engineering faculty. Student recognition is also quite clear as demonstrated by their own words. In her award winning essay submitted to the Association of General Contractors Education and 1 Research Foundation, Barbara Biernat, then of Purdue University-Calumet, expresses her concerns :

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Samples, J. W., & Conley, C., & Lenox, T. (1996, June), Teaching Teachers To Teach Engineering Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6333

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