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Toward more pragmatic engineering classes: Transformation from traditional to Deweyan classes in technological literacy and competency approaches

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

New Approaches and Applications to Enhance Technological Literacy - Part I

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1254.1 - 23.1254.12



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Paper Authors

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Mani Mina Iowa State University

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Toward more pragmatic engineering classes: Transformation from traditional toDeweyan classes in technological literacy and competency approaches      Engineering colleges and programs have been very successful in producing thetechnical workforce and some effective technological leaders in the late 19th and20th centuries. During that period, the engineering curriculum has gone throughmajor changes. The historic launch of Sputnik began a new era for science andengineering development. The flourishing of engineering and science in the 1960sand 1970s led to a series of remarkable discoveries and inventions that continue tothis day. Since the 1960s, engineering education has of course changed in manyway, but very few have been truly revolutionary. Overall, most engineering schoolshave continued to focus on the same premise of delivery with small changes ofstyles. Recently, many attempts are being made to encourage hands-on learningand to promote innovation, invention, creativity, and truly active learning. As manyengineering programs recognize, there is a need for more changes, and in certainareas of engineering education there is a need for fundamental modifications andapproaches.    This paper identifies an engineering class conceptualized according to the ideas ofJohn Dewey. The main objectives of the paper will be to explore this question: Howcan instructors and administrators gradually make the fundamental changes neededto move the course and curricular structures of engineering programs to match theDeweyan educational philosophy. We believe engineering-program reform wouldhave a better chance of succeeding with evolutionary steps that would allow thefaculty to reflect well on the process and examine the values in various approachesand ideas. The paper identifies the needs and possible ways for startingmodifications and assessments that engineering education needs in order to be ableto face the future challenges. Finally some of the findings based on engineeringclasses for non-engineering students and how they can help us shape the newclasses is presented and discussed.  

Mina, M. (2013, June), Toward more pragmatic engineering classes: Transformation from traditional to Deweyan classes in technological literacy and competency approaches Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22639

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