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Teaching Teachers To Teach Engineering: A Year Later

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.395.1 - 2.395.12

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Jerry W. Samples

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

Session 2230

Teaching Teachers To Teach Engineering: A Year Later1

Jerry W. Samples University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Mark F. Costello, Christopher H. Conley, Thomas A. Lenox, Stephen J. Ressler United States Military Academy

Teaching Teachers to Teach Engineering (T4E) is a one-week short course offered during the summer at the United States Military Academy. The short course is offered to faculty of all engineering disciplines, in both two-year and four-year institutions, with a particular emphasis on junior faculty. The short course addresses topics in preparation, presentation, self-critique, learning models, course and lesson goals and objectives, advanced technology, student-teacher relations, testing/grading, advising, legal aspects of teaching, and time management. Perhaps the most unique feature of the course is that participants and instructors prepare, present, and critique practice classes. This work details the development, execution, and assessment of this innovative engineering teacher training program.

1. Introduction

The vast majority of engineering professors have had no training on how to educate students, and yet they are expected to be capable and efficient engineering teachers because of their technical schooling and engineering experience. While this situation would be intolerable with regard to technical knowledge, it is largely ignored with respect to teaching knowledge. The general lack of comprehensive engineering teacher training programs compromises student learning. Moreover, teaching engineering when you don’t know how may be considered unethical.1

Industry and professional societies have made an effort to promote teaching excellence, and indirectly teacher training, with various engineering teaching award programs. As an example, the Boeing Company initiated the Boeing Outstanding Educator Award in 1995 which honors top contributors to the improvement of engineering education.2 Another example is the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) which awards the Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award for significant contributions to teaching, research, and student development. Furthermore, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has a council on Education and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has the Education Activities Committee which both seek to improve engineering education. Other societies not associated with the engineering profession are also promoting teaching excellence. The International Society for Exploring Teaching Alternatives (ISETA) looks for ways to move from standard lectures to other methods

1 This work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), DUE-9554724.

Samples, J. W. (1997, June), Teaching Teachers To Teach Engineering: A Year Later Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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