Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
The core curriculum of a unique degree program in Engineering Studies develops sociotechnical thinking and methods. In 1970, our College initiated this degree program, with the goal of producing graduates who could bridge the gap between engineering and the liberal arts; after 50 years, its mission is to help students recognize the increasingly complex challenges of engineering in the larger framework of socio-technical systems and develop the ability to analyze and understand these systems through multi-disciplinary perspectives. The core Engineering Studies curriculum is designed to help students gain expertise in examining the place of engineering and technology in society, with interdisciplinary skills to lead public technology debates around issues related to policy, management, economics, and the environment. When complemented by required coursework in both engineering and the traditional liberal arts, this core course sequence in Engineering Studies gives students an interdisciplinary mindset and identity as “sociotechnical engineers.”
In this paper, we will describe the development, evolution, and assessment of the core three-course sequence in Engineering Studies. Degree programs like our AB in Engineering Studies provide a mechanism for achieving the interdisciplinary, sociotechnical goals articulated by the NAE and others [eg Claussen et al, ASEE 2019], and for broadening participation in engineering education [e.g. Leydens et al, ASEE 2018; Faulkner, 2007]. As in our previous paper on the history of this program [ASEE 2018], we will consider both the transferability of our approach to other institutional contexts, and its sustainability in our own. While “bridge” remains an apt metaphor for our Engineering Studies program, we hope that it will not be the only such bridge at our College or elsewhere. The development of multiple fluencies and ability to synthesize the methods and mindsets of multiple disciplines are hallmarks of this integrated liberal education in engineering.
References: S. Claussen, J.Y. Tsai, A.M. Boll, J. Blacklock, and K. Johnson, Pain and gain: barriers and opportunities for integrating sociotechnical thinking into diverse engineering courses,” ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, 2019. W. Faulkner, “`Nuts and Bolts and People’ Gender-Troubled Engineering Identities,” Social Studies of Science, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 331–356, Jun. 2007 J. A. Leydens, K. Johnson, S. Claussen, J. Blacklock, B. M. Moskal, and O. Cordova, “Measuring Change over Time in Sociotechnical Thinking: A Survey/validation Model for Sociotechnical Habits of Mind,” ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, 2018. Paper authors, “An Integrative Education in Engineering and the Liberal Arts: An Institutional Case Study,” ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, 2019.
Rossmann, J. S., & Sanford, K. L., & Nicodemus, J., & Cohen, B. (2020, June), The Sociotechnical Core Curriculum: An Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies Degree Program Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35373
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