The Dual Nature of Engineering Education
April 9, 2018
Higher engineering education is simultaneously academic, emphasizing theory in a range of disciplines, and professional, preparing students for engineering practice. The theoretical knowledge and practice-oriented aspects are, however, not merely two separate components that need to be appropriately balanced, but the ideal is a curriculum in which they are also in a meaningful relationship. Therefore, engineering education would benefit from fewer trench wars over “how much” should be theoretical or practice-oriented, and more effort to strengthen the meaningful relationship between these aspects in the curriculum. In this talk, ideals and tensions are explored through a curriculum perspective, a historical perspective, and an institutional perspective, inviting critical reflections on the implications.