About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4228-4238
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

TRAINING FOR HOLISTIC ENGINEERS: COMPREHENSIVE ONTOLOGICAL LEARNING MODEL

E. Olguin1, F. Caro2

1Universidad San Sebastian (CHILE)
2Universidad de Sevilla (SPAIN)
University engineer training is currently facing important challenges, namely:
(1): The accelerated rise of a world opened to new possibilities, which calls for new education practices and styles, partly linked to technology-driven training (CNIC, 2013);
(2): A new, highly connected generation of students (millennials) that need to be stimulated on a permanent basis;
(3): Companies’ demand for engineers with social skills, teamwork and soft competencies in general. “An engineer is hired for his or her technical skills, fired for poor people skills, and promoted for leadership and management skills” (Russel and Yao, 1996);
(4): The necessity to evolve and move away from the “we use XVIIIth century classrooms, with XIXth Century training methodologies, with XXth Century teachers to train XXIst Century students” paradigm;
(5): Economic development call for design-oriented engineers with entrepreneurial skills and attitudes;
(6): Education focused on amazement, commitment and innovation is currently needed in engineer training; and,
(7): Current teachers were trained using obsolete learning-paradigms and are reluctant to adopt new, entrepreneurship and engineer-training ones.

Technical and professional knowledge are necessary to engineers’ career development, especially in first-time job experiences. They are nevertheless insufficient to address all the relational dimensions at company-level. Skills and attitudes are to be developed for engineers to effectively perform and lead others into meaningful, responsibly-managed, sustainable endeavors.

After two-decade-long teaching and organizational experiences, a new training and teaching process was developed upon the traditions of Maturana, Varela and Flores. This process gave birth to the Comprehensive Ontological Learning Model (MOAI, by its Spanish acronym), which addresses the challenges of contemporary engineer training. This model has been adopted by the Engineering and Technology Faculty at Universidad San Sebastian (FIT USS) and by the Industrial Engineering Department of the Mathematical and Physics Sciences, at Universidad de Chile (DII CH). FIT USS has its first graduated generation of students following this training model, who were well-scored by employers and internship-supervisors alike.

MOAI puts the student as centerpiece in the training process using active training methodologies. This model is built upon five central pillars, namely:
(1) The student as protagonist;
(2) the student’s relationship with faculty;
(2) formative training evaluation;
(3) experience-based training;
(4) experiential based learning; and,
(5) learning intermediation.

MOAI’s innovations, practices and postulates stress that teachers must engage with the model, since they are responsible that learning occurs within students. Many of them come from different backgrounds and traditions, and must see and act upon new ones. This is MOAI’s main challenge, namely to turn teachers into the first trainees.

In this context a teacher-training process was designed and adopted upon 10 principles:
(1) learning-driven;
(2) collaboration;
(3) horizontal teacher-student relationship;
(4) lead role attitude;
(5) flexibility;
(6) process over results;
(7) impeccability;
(8) autonomy;
(9) build-upon strength;
(10) diversity.

This article presents the implementation of MOAI in engineer-training and summarizes its associated practices.
@InProceedings{OLGUIN2015TRA,
author = {Olguin, E. and Caro, F.},
title = {TRAINING FOR HOLISTIC ENGINEERS: COMPREHENSIVE ONTOLOGICAL LEARNING MODEL},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {4228-4238}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Olguin AU - F. Caro
TI - TRAINING FOR HOLISTIC ENGINEERS: COMPREHENSIVE ONTOLOGICAL LEARNING MODEL
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 4228
EP - 4238
ER -
E. Olguin, F. Caro (2015) TRAINING FOR HOLISTIC ENGINEERS: COMPREHENSIVE ONTOLOGICAL LEARNING MODEL, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 4228-4238.
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