Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
As an emerging subject, engineering ethics plays an important role in guiding, standardizing and exploiting engineering activities/construction. Prior research shows that engineering ethics generated in each country with diverse backgrounds, and engineering ethics education was also conducted with its own diverse characteristics. However, with the growing multinational cooperation in engineering, the international mobility of engineering students and engineers, and climate change and ecological challenges, engineering ethics has become a global issue. Faced with international engineering ethics problems, taking a global perspective in engineering ethics education will help ensure that engineers can make a more substantial contribution to the development throughout the world.
What should be taught to the future engineers to meet the need of global engineering ethics is the first-line question for universities to answer. As the embodiment of courses standards and syllabi, textbooks are important links between courses design and implementation. They are the materialized results of previous courses research, as well as the necessary tools for the later stage of courses implementation. As the carrier of teaching contents, engineering ethics textbooks are the important source of information that teachers and students can rely on in the engineering ethics teaching. Therefore, this paper presents research on the educational contents of engineering ethics under globalization by comparative analyses of university textbooks in China and the United States. The textbooks selected for this study include three American textbooks- Engineering Ethics: Concepts and Cases (Charles E. Harris, Michael S. Pritchard, Michael J. Rabins), Engineering Ethics (Charles B. Fleddermann), Ethics in Engineering (Mike W. Martin, Roland Schinzinger), and three Chinese textbooks-Engineering Ethics(Yongqiang Zhang), Engineering Ethics(Song Zhang), Engineering Ethics(Zhengfeng Li, Hangqing Cong, Qian Wang, etc.). All of them are classic and commonly used. Methodologies including keywords extraction, text analysis and comparative research are used to compare the six textbooks from the dimensions of style, frame, topics and cases.
By the comparative study of two of the world’s leading countries in engineering education, the similarities, differences and features of engineering ethics educational contents in both countries are revealed. The generalities reflect the common foci of engineering ethics education. Engineering ethics textbooks set forth the basic concepts, theories and principles of engineering ethics firstly; then according to the special requirements of engineering profession, put forward some issues such as the responsibilities of engineers, stakeholders in engineering, and how to practice ethical norms in science and technology activities and engineering practice; and finally probe the practical problems such as ecological responsibilities of the engineers. These generic and common knowledge are consistent with the goal of engineering ethics education. Findings of the comparison also identify lessons worth learning from each other. Based on the analysis results and the need for globalization, the paper attempts to highlight several key points of engineering ethics educational contents. Due to limited space, the findings which are expected to be helpful to the engineering teachers and students in engineering ethics education are still preliminary. Therefore, further study on engineering ethics textbooks would be conducted to find more similarities and differences in order to better explore the educational contents of engineering ethics education under globalization.
Keywords: engineering ethics, educational contents, textbooks, text analysis, keywords extraction, comparative study
FU, J., & Lei, Q., & Grzybowski, D. M., & Cheng, D. (2018, June), What Should be Taught in Engineering Ethics Education Under Globalization?: Based on the Comparative Analysis of University Textbooks in China and the United States Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31236
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