Skip to main content

Teaching Science, Technology, and Society to Engineering Students: A Sixteen Year Journey

Abstract

The course Science, Technology, and Society is taken by about 500 engineering students each year at Bilkent University, Ankara. Aiming to complement the highly technical engineering programs, it deals with the ethical, social, cultural, political, economic, legal, environment and sustainability, health and safety, reliability dimensions of science, technology, and engineering in a multidisciplinary fashion. The teaching philosophy and experiences of the instructor are reviewed. Community research projects have been an important feature of the course. Analysis of teaching style based on a multi-dimensional model is given. Results of outcome measurements performed for ABET assessment are provided. Challenges and solutions related to teaching a large class are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (2011). Accessed September 2011. http://www.abet.org.

  • Akcay, H., & Yager, R. E. (2010). The impact of a science/technology/society teaching approach on student learning in five domains. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 19, 602–611.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Association for Evaluation and Accreditation of Engineering Programs (2011). Accessed September 2011. http://www.mudek.org.tr.

  • Bird, S., & Sieber, J. E. (2005). Teaching ethics in science and engineering: Effective online education—Introduction. Science and Engineering Ethics, 11, 323–328.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bonwell, C. C., & Eison, J. A. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (Wiley).

    Google Scholar 

  • Brugge, D., & Kole, A. (2003). A case study of community-based participatory research ethics: The healthy public housing initiative. Science and Engineering Ethics, 9, 485–501.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bucciarelli, L. L. (2008). Ethics and engineering education. European Journal of Engineering Education, 33, 141–149.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carr, N. (2010). The shallows: What the internet is doing to our brains. New York: W. W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  • Colby, A., & Sullivan, W. M. (2008). Ethics teaching in undergraduate engineering education. Journal of Engineering Education, 97, 327–338.

    Google Scholar 

  • Conlon, E., & Zandvoort, H. (2011). Broadening ethics teaching in engineering: Beyond the individualistic approach. Science and Engineering Ethics, 17, 217–232.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Core Requirements (2011). IB Organization, Geneva. Accessed March 2011. http://www.ibo.org/recognition/resources/documents/CoreElementsBrief1.3.pdf.

  • Cruz, J. A., & Frey, W. J. (2003). An effective strategy for integrating ethics across the curriculum in engineering: An ABET 2000 challenge. Science and Engineering Ethics, 9, 543–568.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davis, M. (2006). Integrating ethics into technical courses: Micro-insertion. Science and Engineering Ethics, 12, 717–730.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davis, M. (2007). Perils of using Hurricane Katrina to teach engineering ethics. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 26, 16–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Easton, T. (2008). Taking sides: Clashing views in science, technology, and society (8th ed). New York: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Evan, W. M., & Manion, M. (2002). Minding the machines: Preventing technological disasters. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Eyler, J., & Giles, D. E. Jr. (1999). Where's the learning in service-learning? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (Wiley).

    Google Scholar 

  • Felder, R. M., & Silverman, L. K. (1988). Learning and teaching styles in engineering education. Engineering Education, 78, 674–681. Also see 2002 Preface. Accessed March 2011. http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/LS-1988.pdf.

  • Gibbs, G., & Jenkins, A. (Eds.). (1992). Teaching large classes in higher education: How to maintain quality with reduced resources. London: Kogan Page.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansen, T. B. (2005). Grassroots science—An ISYP ideal? ISYP Journal on Science and World Affairs, 1, 61–72.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heppner, F. (2007). Teaching the large college class: A guidebook for instructors with multitudes. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (Wiley).

    Google Scholar 

  • Herkert, J. R. (2001). Future directions in engineering ethics research: Microethics, macroethics and the role of professional societies. Science and Engineering Ethics, 7, 403–414.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Herkert, J. R. (2005). Ways of thinking about and teaching ethical problem solving: Microethics and macroethics in engineering. Science and Engineering Ethics, 11, 373–385.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hjorth, L. S., Eichler, B. A., Khan, A. S., & Morello, J. A. (2003). Technology and society: A bridge to the 21st century, (2nd ed). New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hughes, G. (2000). Marginalization of socioscientific material in science-technology-society science curricula: Some implications for gender inclusivity and curriculum reform. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37, 426–440.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Humanitarian Engineering (2011). Colorado School of Mines. Accessed September 2011. http://humanitarian.mines.edu.

  • Kaya, O., Yager, R., & Dogan, A. (2009). Changes in attitudes towards science-technology-society of pre-service science teachers. Research in Science Education, 39, 257–279.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kline, R. R. (2010). Engineering case studies: Bridging micro and macro ethics. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 29, 16–19.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kolmos, A., & Holgaard, J. E. (2008). Learning styles of science and engineering students in problem and project based education. In Proceedings of SEFI 2008 Annual Conference. Brussels: European Society for Engineering Education.

  • Kumar D. D., & Chubin D. E. (Eds.). (2000). Science, technology, and society: A sourcebook on research and practice. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  • La main à la pâte. (2011). Wikipedia, French edition. Accessed March 2011. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_main_àla_pate.

  • Lee, M. -K., & Erdogan, I. (2007). The effect of science-technology-society teaching on students’ attitudes toward science and certain aspects of creativity. International Journal of Science Education, 29, 1315–1327.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lee, Y. C. (2010). Science-technology-society or technology-society-science? Insights from an ancient technology. International Journal of Science Education, 32, 1927–1950.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Living Knowledge (2011). The International Science Shop Network. Accessed March 2011. http://www.scienceshops.org.

  • Loui, M. C. (2005). Educational technologies and the teaching of ethics in science and engineering. Science and Engineering Ethics, 11, 435–446.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Luegenbiehl, H. C. (2007). Disasters as object lessons in ethics: Hurricane Katrina. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 26, 10–15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McGinn, R. E. (1991). Science, technology, and society. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • McGinnis, J. R., & Simmons, P. (1999). Teachers’ perspectives of teaching science-technology-society in local cultures: A sociocultural analysis. Science Education, 83, 179–211.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Newberry, B. (2004). The dilemma of ethics in engineering education. Science and Engineering Ethics, 10, 343–351.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ozaktas, H. M. (1996). Science, technology, and society readings. Ankara: Bilkent University. Accessed March 2011. http://www.ee.bilkent.edu.tr/~ge301/scitechsoc.read.pdf.

  • Ozaktas, H. (Oct 18–20, 2006). Integrating ethics education across the curriculum. In Second National Applied Ethics Congress, (pp. 125–127). Ankara: METU (in Turkish, invited).

  • Ozaktas, H. M. (May 2008). Thoughts on science, technology, society and ethics education. Turkish Academy of Sciences Bulletin, ( pp. 3–5). (in Turkish, invited).

  • Ozaktas, H. M. (2011). Science, technology, and society. Ankara: Bilkent University. Accessed March 2011. http://www.ee.bilkent.edu.tr/~ge301.

  • Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How college affects students: A third decade of research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (Wiley).

    Google Scholar 

  • Stanley, C. A., & Porter, M. E. (Eds.). (2002). Engaging large classes: Strategies and techniques for college faculty. Boston: Anker Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stanton, T. K., Giles, D. E., & Cruz, N. I. (1999). Service-learning: A movements pioneers reflect on its origins, practice, and future. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (Wiley).

    Google Scholar 

  • The Loka Institute (2011). Accessed March 2011. http://www.loka.org.

  • The Washington Accord (2011). International Engineering Alliance. Accessed September 2011. http://www.washingtonaccord.org/Washington-Accord.

  • van de Poel, I. R., Zandvoort, H., & Brumsen, M. (2001). Ethics and engineering courses at Delft university of technology: Contents, educational setup and experiences. Science and Engineering Ethics, 7, 267–282.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Winner, L. (1980). Do artifacts have politics? Daedalus, 109, 121–136.

  • Yager, R. E. (1990). The science/technology/society movement in the United States: Its origins, evolution, and rationale. Social Education, 54, 198–201.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yalvac, B., Tekkaya, C., Cakiroglu, J., & Kahyaoglu, E. (2007). Turkish pre-service science teachers’ views on science-technology-society issues. International Journal of Science Education, 29, 331–348.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zandvoort, H., Van de Poel, I., & Brumsen, M. (2000). Ethics in the engineering curricula: Topics, trends and challenges for the future. European Journal of Engineering Education, 25, 291–302.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zandvoort, H. (2008). Preparing engineers for social responsibility. European Journal of Engineering Education, 33, 133–140.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zandvoort, H., van Hasselt, G. J., & Bonnet, J. A. B. A. F. (2008). A joint venture model for teaching required courses in ‘ethics and engineering’ to engineering students. European Journal of Engineering Education, 33, 187–195.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

H. M. Ozaktas acknowledges partial support of the Turkish Academy of Sciences.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Haldun M. Ozaktas.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ozaktas, H.M. Teaching Science, Technology, and Society to Engineering Students: A Sixteen Year Journey. Sci Eng Ethics 19, 1439–1450 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-011-9329-4

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-011-9329-4

Keywords

  • Science, technology, and society education
  • STS education
  • Engineering ethics education
  • Teaching large classes
  • ABET
  • Accreditation
  • Community research