Constructing knowledge in contemporary engineering curriculum

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Rojter, Josef (2011) Constructing knowledge in contemporary engineering curriculum. In: SEFI 2011 : Global Engineering Recognition, Sustainability and Mobility. European Society for Engineering Education, Brussels, pp. 699-706.


The education of professional engineers is confronted with problems and challenges facing education and training of all professions. Engineering education is located in professional education domain where issues concerning professional activities, the nature of knowledge and the relationship between the two arise. Transitions between engineering education, engineering practice and the markets are not seamless as much of the collected and anecdotal evidence indicates. The relationship between professional engineering education providers and the engineering profession(s) is a complex one, and needs to be placed in historical and cultural context. The education and knowledge based on strong rational framework such as provided by the engineering schools and faculties at universities are highly constrained because they can only deal with certainties and stability. The engineering profession has its status anchored in knowledge from which also the universities derive their authority. But is it the same knowledge? The process in seeking high professional status has driven the Engineers Australia (EA) to bear pressure for the increase in science base in engineering curricula to provide its members with professional legitimacy derived from a highly academicized university degree. However, the professional engineer in the world of engineering practice needs often to discard the positivism of science in situations characterized by uncertainty and instability. This paper argues for a major of rethink in accepted knowledge hierarchy as pertaining engineering practice. It also seeks out other established engineering education models, which will enhance the profession and professional practice and challenge whether the current platonic knowledge hierarchy models have anything to offer.

Additional Information

Conference held in Lisbon, Portugal, 2011

Item type Book Section
Official URL
ISBN 9782873520045
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Environmental Safety and Risk Engineering (CESARE)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Historical > SEO Classification > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering
Keywords ResPubID23334, innovative curricula, professional educational issues, tertiary education, university, higher education, training, Australia
Citations in Scopus 0 - View on Scopus
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