ERIC Number: EJ857177
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
Encouraging Undergraduate Engineering Students towards Civic Engagement
Wallen, Matthew R.; Pandit, Abhay S.
European Journal of Engineering Education, v34 n2 p141-148 May 2009
Responding to the calls for teaching "soft skills" within the undergraduate engineering curriculum and for the university to address a perceived decrease in social capital, a programme titled Community Awareness Initiatives Responsibly Directed by Engineers (CAIRDE, an Irish language word meaning "friends") was instituted at the National University of Ireland, Galway. As part of a mandatory module in the Mechanical and Biomedical undergraduate programmes, students carry out self-directed projects involving community action (service) and application of knowledge (students' prior learning). This paper reports on an evaluative research study focussed on understanding the participating students' experiences. Among findings related to students' perceptions as future professionals, students describe a growing awareness of the need for collaboration and the positive value of engagement with the community as knowledgeable end-users of their designs. The paper concludes by suggesting greater integration of this type of pedagogy for civic engagement across the curriculum.
Descriptors: Engineering Education, Undergraduate Students, Evaluation Research, Student Attitudes, Community Action, Prior Learning, Engineering, Foreign Countries, Social Capital, Citizen Participation, Cooperation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland