About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1762-1767
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0547

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

COMPETENCES DEVELOPED IN A DOUBLE DEGREE PROGRAMME: MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING AND IN EDUCATION

M. Cronhjort1, L. Naeslund2, S. Nyberg1

1KTH Royal Institute of Technology (SWEDEN)
2Stockholm University (SWEDEN)
Since 2002 there has been a double degree programme in Stockholm, Sweden thanks to a joint venture between KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University. After five years of studying, which is the stipulated time for the teacher programme and for engineering programmes in general, the graduates become engineers and teachers. By choosing this programme the graduates have the option of two professions during their careers. At present, Sweden is in desperate need of more teachers in maths, science, and technology. These career options also offer flexibility when the number of teenagers decreases, or companies have to downsize.

Sceptics might fear that this programme could lead to less competence, due to less time spent on specialising within the subjects of engineering, but according to Trevelyan (2010) most engineers spend more time on human interaction than on design and calculus. Thus, studies in education can provide engineers with additional useful competence. Previous studies on double degree programmes have mainly focused on organizational problems, except for Wimshurst & Manning (2015) who mapped students’ ongoing experiences when they combined a degree in criminology with degrees in other disciplines. These students complained about disjoint courses instead of joint discourses.

The aim of our study is to map and analyse:
(1) how alumni evaluate this programme in retrospect, and
(2) how they describe their present competences.

Accordingly, 49 alumni answered a questionnaire in June 2016; and 15 of these respondents were selected for a tape recorded interview face to face. These alumni graduated from the programme 2-9 years ago. The data were coded according to principles of Grounded Theory (Corbin & Strauss, 2008).

In retrospect, these alumni do appreciate the programme. Most respondents comment on the merits of maths learnt at KTH, though only a few of the interviewed engineers use higher maths as a practical tool. On the other hand, maths serves as a prototype for problem solving in general. Studies and training in leadership, learning theories and communication offer important tools for most engineers. Alumni employed as teachers claim that they are more well-prepared to teach maths, science, and technology than other teachers, partly because they can illustrate phenomena by giving examples from other realities than the school context.

Alumni’s descriptions of their present competence illuminate various combinations of engineering and educational skills. When data were coded three main categories emerged, viz., material, procedural, and functional. Finally, the core category was formulated as follows: The programme matches new needs in present working life, i.e. that expertise knowledge is communicated to various kinds of recipients. The programme provides a variety of useful competences that enable alumni to create niches for themselves by pushing, widening and going beyond previous professional roles in working life.

Conclusion:
The double degree programme provides labour market with competent teachers and with communicative engineers. This is important in our era, when working life is partly transforming from standardized production into flexible knowledge processing.
@InProceedings{CRONHJORT2017COM,
author = {Cronhjort, M. and Naeslund, L. and Nyberg, S.},
title = {COMPETENCES DEVELOPED IN A DOUBLE DEGREE PROGRAMME: MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING AND IN EDUCATION},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.0547},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.0547},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1762-1767}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Cronhjort AU - L. Naeslund AU - S. Nyberg
TI - COMPETENCES DEVELOPED IN A DOUBLE DEGREE PROGRAMME: MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING AND IN EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.0547
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 1762
EP - 1767
ER -
M. Cronhjort, L. Naeslund, S. Nyberg (2017) COMPETENCES DEVELOPED IN A DOUBLE DEGREE PROGRAMME: MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING AND IN EDUCATION, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 1762-1767.
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