NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1095373
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1356-2517
"I Take Engineering with Me": Epistemological Transitions across an Engineering Curriculum
Winberg, Christine; Winberg, Simon; Jacobs, Cecilia; Garraway, James; Engel-Hills, Penelope
Teaching in Higher Education, v21 n4 p398-414 2016
In this paper we study epistemological transitions across an intended engineering curriculum and recommend strategies to assist students in attaining the increasingly complex concepts and insights that are necessary for transition to advanced levels of study. We draw on Legitimation Code Theory [Maton, Karl. 2014, "Knowledge and Knowers: Towards a Realist Sociology of Education". Abingdon: Routledge], in particular the dimensions of sematic gravity and semantic density, to explain these transitions. Data for the study was obtained from a curriculum renewal project that reveals how engineers understand engineering knowledge. We find an interdependent relationship between semantic gravity and semantic density in the intended engineering curriculum. The complexity of the context and the problems that arise from it pose strong cognitive challenges. The semantic gravity wave rises and falls across the engineering curriculum s, enabling both abstraction and a focus on "real world" problems in specialised knowledge fields. Control of the semantic gravity wave is key to the provision of "epistemological access" [Morrow, Wally, ed. (2003) 2009. "Bounds of Democracy: Epistemological Access in Higher Education". Reprint, Pretoria: HSRC Press] to engineering knowledge.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A