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Understanding the NSF Transforming Undergraduate Engineering Education Report – Why Are Industry and Academic Pathways Toward Knowledge Development at Odds?

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

The Philosophy of Engineering and Technological Literacy

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

26.1627.1 - 26.1627.14

DOI

10.18260/p.24963

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24963

Download Count

239

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Paper Authors

biography

Charles Pezeshki Washington State University

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Charles (Chuck) Pezeshki is the Director of the Industrial Design Clinic in the School of MME at Washington State University. The Industrial Design Clinic is the primary capstone vehicle for the School and focuses on industrially sponsored projects with hard deliverables that students must complete for graduation. His research area is in knowledge construction as a function of social/relational organization.

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Abstract

Understanding  the  NSF  Transforming  Undergraduate  Engineering  Education   Report  –  Why  are  Industry  and  Academic  Pathways  toward  Knowledge   Development  at  Odds?    During  May  9-­‐10,  2013,  the  National  Science  Foundation  hosted  the  first  of  a  series  of  meetings,  called  Transforming  Undergraduate  Engineering  Education  (TUEE),  with  the  goal  of  identifying  a  growth  and  evolution  path  for  undergraduate  engineering  education.    As  part  of  a  larger  arc  of  meetings  to  be  completed  in  2018,  the  TUEE  was  targeted  as  ‘getting  to  know  the  customer’  for  academia.    Various  exchange  groups  were  set  out,  and  as  is  typical  among  these  types  of  meetings,  the  various  stakeholders  deconstructed  the  engineering  education  discipline,  discussed  sharing  of  responsibilities,  and  had  some  discussion  about  the  best  way  to  achieve  what  were  considered  shared  objectives.    Yet,  to  the  outsider  not  at  the  TUEE  meeting,  upon  reading  the  report,  there  is  precious  little  self-­‐awareness  present  in  the  outcomes.    No  one  asks  the  big  question:    ‘why  do  industry  and  academia  think  differently?’  nor  one  of  the  more  interesting  results  to  come  out  of  the  survey:    pre-­‐conference,  when  a  survey  was  circulated,  the  value  of  the  current  math  curriculum  was  held  in  considerably  lower  regard  than  during  the  meeting.    Why  was  that  so,  and  what  were  the  likely  dynamics  that  changed  the  opinions  of  the  participants?        Further,  many  of  the  pathways  and  modalities  to  higher  level  skills  remained  largely  unquestioned.    Will  taking  more  math  classes,  for  instance,  lead  to  better  critical  thinking?    How  easy  is  it  to  have  open-­‐ended  problems  in  a  rigorously  graded  classroom  environment?    And  what  about  the  developmental  capabilities  of  the  different  actors  labeled  as  part  of  the  educational  process  (students,  parents,  academia  and  industry?)    Short  shrift  is  given  to  the  ability  of  any  of  these  actors  to  actually  accomplish  many  of  the  goals  labeled,  and  most  of  the  goals  possessed  little  separability.    What  that  means  is  that  most  goals  were  intertwinings  and  amalgamations  of  each  other,  making  the  generation  of  any  directed  effort  virtually  impossible  to  implement  a  cause-­‐and-­‐effect  solution.    The  author  offers  insights  from  his  work  on  how  and  why  people  think  the  way  they  do,  based  on  the  developmental  level  of  the  student,  coupled  with  the  relational  environment  both  academics  and  industry  participants  that  profoundly  shapes  the  way  these  different  parties  think.    This  is  then  related  back  to  empathetic  development  and  the  neuroscience  of  brain  development.    The  bottom  line?    These  parties  think  differently  because  there  is  a  profound  difference  in  the  development  of  their  mental  faculties.    And  only  by  understanding  these  differences  can  the  community  move  forward  to  create  the  engineer  the  future  profoundly  needs.    1.    American  Society  of  Engineering  Education,  ‘Transforming  the  Undergraduate  Engineering  Experience’,  May  9-­‐10,  2013,  Arlington,  VA.  

Pezeshki, C. (2015, June), Understanding the NSF Transforming Undergraduate Engineering Education Report – Why Are Industry and Academic Pathways Toward Knowledge Development at Odds? Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24963

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