Fostering reflective engineers: Outcomes of an arts- A nd humanities-infused graduate course

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Engineering education traditionally focuses on technical content and problem-solving, leaving little room in the curriculum to examine broader environmental and socio-technical impacts of engineering work. However, if engineers wish to have intentional, positive influences on these broader impacts, skills for reflective thinking and ethical decision-making are essential. The arts and humanities can provide important and often neglected perspectives for engineers in developing such skills. In a recent seminar course for civil/environmental engineers, we explored ways of developing these skills through activities including Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), in-class readings discussions, essay writing, and portfolio assignments. In this paper, we present selected findings from this experimental course. While the class was small, comprised of a dozen graduate students, results were encouraging. For example, findings from qualitative thematic analysis of pre- A nd post-course essays showed an increase in recognition of the importance of breadth of knowledge and/or perspective. Similarly, pre-post Likert-type survey results showed a statistically significant increase (p<0.005, d=1, n=10) in Contextual Competence, a self-reported measure of ability to anticipate and understand the impacts and constraints of broader contexts on engineering solutions. These findings are preliminary but suggest the course helped students develop capacity for reflection through arts- A nd humanities-based activities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 World Engineering Education Forum - Global Engineering Deans Council, WEEF-GEDC 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538677636
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 29 2019
Event2018 World Engineering Education Forum - Global Engineering Deans Council, WEEF-GEDC 2018 - Albuquerque, United States
Duration: Nov 12 2018Nov 16 2018

Publication series

Name2018 World Engineering Education Forum - Global Engineering Deans Council, WEEF-GEDC 2018

Conference

Conference2018 World Engineering Education Forum - Global Engineering Deans Council, WEEF-GEDC 2018
CountryUnited States
CityAlbuquerque
Period11/12/1811/16/18

Keywords

  • arts
  • context
  • contextual competence
  • ethics
  • humanities
  • reflection
  • social justice

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    Campbell, R. C., Reible, D. D., Taraban, R., & Kim, J. H. (2019). Fostering reflective engineers: Outcomes of an arts- A nd humanities-infused graduate course. In 2018 World Engineering Education Forum - Global Engineering Deans Council, WEEF-GEDC 2018 [8629714] (2018 World Engineering Education Forum - Global Engineering Deans Council, WEEF-GEDC 2018). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/WEEF-GEDC.2018.8629714