Carnegie Foundation Calls for Overhaul of Engineering Education

Posted on March 2, 2009  Comments (2)

Yet another call for the overhaul of engineering eduction. This time in a Carnegie Foundation Report

The nation’s engineering schools are using outdated educational practices that focus too heavily on imparting technical knowledge and do not do enough to prepare undergraduate students for the profession

in the midst of worldwide transformation of the engineering profession, undergraduate engineering programs in the United States continue to approach problem-solving and knowledge acquisition in an outdated manner. Moreover, engineering programs’ solution to improving the education they offer has been simply to add more courses, rather than reconsidering the design of their programs.

Instead of having a “jam-packed curriculum focused on technical knowledge,” engineering programs should be doing more to help students develop analytical reasoning, practical skills, and professional judgment, the report says.

“We are calling for a new model that will involve fundamentally rethinking the role and even the makeup of the faculty,”

A summary is available online and worth reading for those interested in undergraduate engineering education. I question the wisdom of a foundation urging innovation and then telling people to buy order their book to lean more. If a foundation wants to drive change today, I would think you do so by making material available online easily. Obviously they disagree.

Related: William Wulf Webcast on Engineering Education in the 21st CenturyEducating the Engineer of 2020: NAE ReportReforming Engineering Education by NAEApplied Engineering EducationInnovative Science and Engineering Higher EducationEducating Engineers for 2020 and BeyondToward a More Open Scientific Culture

2 Responses to “Carnegie Foundation Calls for Overhaul of Engineering Education”

  1. Timothy
    March 3rd, 2009 @ 10:37 am

    It’s great to see educational programs realizing the need to update their engineering programs, so students are better prepared for the real world.

  2. ASQ Influential Voices: Future Engineers and Scientists » Curious Cat Management Blog
    February 13th, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

    There are good ideas for how to improve. But they are challenging. And we are not doing nearly enough experimenting to find good new models of engineering education…

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