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Appears in:
Pages: 6242-6248
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0339

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

THE CONSOLIDATION OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN AUSTRALIA AS SPECIALIZED SCIENTIFIC ACADEMIC PARADIGM

J. Rojter

Victoria University (AUSTRALIA)
Engineering professions and their discourses play key roles in economic and societal welfare of a nation. It is thus not surprising that engineering professions and the education for professional qualification have been subject of many state-sponsored enquiries in thel developed world. The relatively poor social standing of the engineering profession in Australia relative to other major professions, and its general inability to attract both a higher proportion of women as well as a high caliber of more intellectually able young people, has been of concern to both the profession and engineering educators. This paper argues that this is due to the unclear perceptions of the engineering profession as being “hard hat” and highly technical in nature; a perception which is at odds with the realities of the world of engineering practice, where the application of broad knowledge and an understanding of the human dimension of engineering enterprise is required. These realities are not generally reflected by the engineering curricula at Australia universities. In many schools there is an excessive emphasis in engineering curricula on the scientific and specialized technical dimensions eschewing not only technical diversity but also the skills and knowledge of human affairs which increasingly is becoming a part of engineering epistemology necessary in engineering practice. These have been recognized by a major enquires into engineering profession and its education. The major recommendations proposed that engineering curricula be composed of fundamental science and mathematics, engineering analysis, design engineering practice, and social, environmental, economic contexts. Initial analysis showed that just few years after these recommendations, social sciences and humanities in engineering curricula, the expansion in these non-technical areas has been slow to take anchor within the schools, departments and faculties of engineering in Australia. The situation ten years on has progressively deteriorated where engineering curricula have been subjugated by scientific hegemony to the exclusion of professional discourses. It is argued that this is essentially a problem of the academic culture operating within engineering schools and faculties in Australia, which is based on scientific norms derived from science. Finally the idea of cultural change is explored.
@InProceedings{ROJTER2016CON,
author = {Rojter, J.},
title = {THE CONSOLIDATION OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN AUSTRALIA AS SPECIALIZED SCIENTIFIC ACADEMIC PARADIGM},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.0339},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.0339},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {6242-6248}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Rojter
TI - THE CONSOLIDATION OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN AUSTRALIA AS SPECIALIZED SCIENTIFIC ACADEMIC PARADIGM
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0339
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 6242
EP - 6248
ER -
J. Rojter (2016) THE CONSOLIDATION OF ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN AUSTRALIA AS SPECIALIZED SCIENTIFIC ACADEMIC PARADIGM, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 6242-6248.
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