Is engineering education an education for the engineering profession?

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Rojter, Josef (2011) Is engineering education an education for the engineering profession? In: SEFI 2011 : Global Engineering Recognition, Sustainability and Mobility. European Society for Engineering Education, Brussels, pp. 806-811.


The on-going debate concerning traditional pedagogy versus problem-based learning (PBL) in engineering education has, by and large, been settled, within my faculty, in favour of the latter. The underpinning decisions were based on the new university branding and beliefs that the implementation of PBL pedagogy would attract higher academic achievers to engineering courses at Victoria University (VU), reduce the current high attrition rates, and produce better educational outcomes. This paper suggests that the pedagogical debate of PBL versus traditional educational delivery detracts from the larger picture of engineering education, the engineering profession, and professional engineering practice. It is argued that the current engineering curricula at Australian universities are obsolescent because these were derived from the late eighteenth century period of the enlightenment and reinforced by the empiricism and positivism of the Vienna School, which embraced the narrative of scientism. The paper will argue that the shedding of scientism as the basis for the engineering curriculum is an essential step in designing a curriculum that is oriented to contemporary and future professional engineering practice. A curriculum based on social practice will not only meet technical professional needs but spark the curiosity and imagination of girls and boys at senior secondary schools to choose engineering as their course of study.

Additional Information

Conference held in Lisbon, Portugal, 2011

Item type Book Section
ISBN 97828783520045
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 ResPubID23335, marketing of engineering, curriculum development, curricula, pedagogy, attrition, perceptions, university, higher education, tertiary education, Australia
Citations in Scopus 0 - View on Scopus
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