Taking Emotion Seriously: Meeting Students Where They Are
- 498 Downloads
Emotions are often portrayed as subjective judgments that pose a threat to rationality and morality, but there is a growing literature across many disciplines that emphasizes the centrality of emotion to moral reasoning. For engineers, however, being rational usually means sequestering emotions that might bias analyses—good reasoning is tied to quantitative data, math, and science. This paper brings a new pedagogical perspective that strengthens the case for incorporating emotions into engineering ethics. Building on the widely established success of active and collaborative learning environments, in particular the problem-based learning (PBL) philosophy and methodology, the paper articulates new strategies for incorporating emotion into engineering ethics education. An ethics education pilot study is analyzed to explore how PBL can engage students’ emotions. Evidence suggests that PBL empowers students to cultivate value for engineering ethics and social responsibility, and in doing so, redefine the societal role of the engineer. Taking students’ emotions seriously in engineering ethics offers an effective strategy to meaningfully engage students in ethical learning.
KeywordsEmotion Engineering Ethics Pedagogy Self-directed learning Problem-based learning
A version of this paper was presented at the Moral Emotions and Risk Politics conference at Delft University of Technology, August 2012; thank you to all who attended and provided valuable feedback. I am grateful to Cathryn Carson, William Kastenberg, and Joonhong Ahn for helpful comments on earlier drafts. This material was based upon work supported by a seed grant from the University of California, Berkeley College of Engineering and the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1237830.
- Alpay, E. (2011). Student-inspired activities for the teaching and learning of engineering ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics. doi: 10.1007/s11948-011-9297-8.
- Aristotle. (1941). The basic works of Aristotle. R. McKeon (Ed.). New York: Random House.Google Scholar
- Baillie, C. (2009). Engineering and society: Working towards social justice, part I: Engineering and society. San Rafael, CA: Morgan & Claypool.Google Scholar
- Boetzkes, E. A., & Waluchow, W. J. (2000). Readings in health care ethics. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press.Google Scholar
- Canary, H., Herkert, J., Ellison, K., & Wetmore, J. (2012). Microethics and macroethics in graduate education for scientists and engineers: Developing and assessing Instructional Models. American Society for Engineering Education.Google Scholar
- Catalano, G. (2009). Engineering and society: Working towards social justice, part II: Engineering decisions in the 21st century. San Rafael, CA: Morgan & Claypool.Google Scholar
- Damasio, A. (1994). Descartes’ error: Emotion, reason, and the human brain. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.Google Scholar
- de Sousa, R. (1987). The rationality of emotion. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- de Sousa, R. (2003, updated 2010). Emotion. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/emotion/. Accessed 17 March 2011.
- Duhigg, C. & Barboza, D. (2012). In China, human costs are built into an iPad. The New York Times.Google Scholar
- Fairweather, (2010). Linking Evidence and Promising Practices in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) undergraduate education: A status report for The National Academies National Research Council Board of Science Education, Commissioned paper for workshop on linking evidence and promising practices in STEM undergraduate education for The National Academies National Research Council Board of Science Education, Oct. 13 and 14, 2008, http://www7.nationalacademies.org/bose/PP_Agenda_October13and14_2008.html.
- Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Hume, D. (1888). In L. A. Selby-Bigge (Ed.), A treatise of human nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Jaggar, A. M. (1992). Feminist ethics. In L. Becker & C. Becker (Eds.), Encyclopedia of ethics (pp. 363–364). New York: Garland Press.Google Scholar
- Jonassen, D. H., Shen, D., Marra, R. M., Cho, Y., Lo, J. L., & Lohanni, V. K. (2009). Engaging and supporting problem solving in engineering ethics. Journal of Engineering Ethics, 98, 235–254.Google Scholar
- Lewis, M., Haviland-Jones, J. M., & Feldman Barrett, L. (Eds.). (2008). Handbook of emotions (3rd ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Marcus, G. E. (2002). The sentimental citizen: Emotion in democratic politics. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press.Google Scholar
- Matthews, G., & Wells, A. (1994). Attention and emotion: A clinical perspective. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- National Academy of Engineering. (2005). Educating the engineer of 2020: Adapting engineering education to the new century. Washington DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- National Research Council. (2005). How students learn: History, mathematics, and science in the classroom. Committee on How People Learn, A targeted report for teachers, M. S. Donovan and J. D. Bransford, Editors. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
- Nixon, J. (2012). Interpretative pedagogies for higher education: Arendt, Berger, Said, Nussbaum and their Legacies. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.Google Scholar
- Noddings, N. (1984). Caring: A feminine approach to ethics and moral education. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Nussbaum, M. (2003). Upheavals of thought: The intelligence of emotions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Online Ethics Center, http://www.onlineethics.org/. Accessed 28 Aug 2012.
- Pawley, A. (2009). Universalized narratives: Patterns in how faculty members define “engineering.” Journal of Engineering Education, 309–319.Google Scholar
- Riley, D. (2011). Hidden in plain view: Feminists doing engineering ethics, engineers doing feminist ethics. Science and Engineering Ethics. doi: 10.1007/s11948-011-9320-0.
- Riley, D., Pawley, A. L., Tucker, J., & Catalano, G. D. (2009). Feminisms in engineering education: Transformative possibilities. Feminist Formations, 21(2), 21–40.Google Scholar
- Roeser, S. (Ed.). (2010b). Emotions and risky technologies. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Roeser, S. (2011). Moral emotions and intuitions. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Rorty, A. (Ed.). (1980). Explaining emotions. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Solomon, R. C. (2008). The philosophy of emotions. In M. Lewis, J. M. Haviland-Jones, & L. Feldman Barrett (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (3rd ed., pp. 3–16). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Thiel, C. E., Connelly, S., Harkrider, L., Devenport, L. D., Bagdasarov, Z., Johnson J. F., & Mumford, M. D. (2011). Case-based knowledge and ethics education: Improving learning and transfer through emotionally rich cases. science and engineering ethics. doi: 10.1007/s1198-011-9318-7.
- Tong, R. (2009). Feminist ethics. Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-ethics. Accessed 23 March 2011.
- Tucker, J., Pawley, A., Riley, D. & Catalano, G. D. (2008). New engineering stories: How feminist thinking can impact engineering ethics and practice. 38th ASEE/IEEE frontiers in education conference, October 22–25, 2008, Saratoga Springs, NY.Google Scholar