ERIC Number: EJ831806
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
How Can Engineering Education Contribute to a Sustainable Future?
Pritchard, J.; Baillie, C.
European Journal of Engineering Education, v31 n5 p555-565 Oct 2006
In the present paper we question how engineering education (and engineering) can support greater participation and inclusiveness in decision making and science and technology. We consider the work "relating" to engineering and society that is conducted by the scholars of science and technology studies, but which is rarely read or considered by the engineering educators who could draw on it. We consider the results of an initial analysis of data collected from interviews with the science, technology and society (STS) faculty across North America and Europe. STS looks at how technology affects society and how society affects technology, while engineers "create" technology. Consequently the current authors suggest that it would be of great relevance to both engineering and STS to join up the thinking across these two arenas by focusing on a question that is not privy to the disciplines: is how can we create a socially just and sustainable future for all? We shall consider questions asked in STS of technology (engineering), e.g. what is its impact on society, who owns the technology, what are the political artefacts of the technology and we consider their influence on engineering (education). Using a phenomenographic approach to the research, 12 categories of description have emerged. Three of these categories are highlighted in this paper: participation; politics and policy; and citizenship, as they reflected themes that are rarely "discussed" in engineering curricula but which appear to be uppermost in the STS arena. Participation was described in a range of ways, from approaches to participation to the case for and against it. In politics and policy much was made of the interplay between scientists and politicians and the power and knowledge games between these two arenas. Citizenship is a hotly discussed topic and is evident in a number of government agendas. Approaches to enhancing citizenship are discussed in a myriad of ventures, e.g. through public participation, being critical of information and through education. (Contains 1 figure.)
Descriptors: Engineering Education, Citizen Participation, Science and Society, Engineering, Foreign Countries, Politics of Education, Sustainable Development, Interviews, Research and Development, Role of Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A