Fostering Subjectivity in Engineering Education: Philosophical Framework and Pedagogical Strategies
This paper argues that fostering subjectivity in engineering education will aid engineers in understanding the connections between their own life values and motivations and their career choice and development. By fostering subjectivity in engineering education, we mean linking the person who studies with what they are studying, a definition that can be situated within the philosophy and methodology of Bernard Lonergan. This paper also presents evidence for pedagogical strategies to foster subjectivity based on our definition of subjectivity in engineering education. We analyze data collected during a pilot offering of a co-curricular course for engineering graduate students (the Lead by Design Institute) to determine to what extent the Lead by Design pedagogy fostered subjectivity. The paper concludes with reflections on implications for future engineering education, from the philosophical framework of Lonergan’s model of the human subject, and from our analysis of the Lead by Design pedagogy.
KeywordsEngineering education Integrative pedagogy Subjectivity Generalized empirical method Bernard Lonergan’s model of the human subject
This research was supported by a grant from the Hebron Diversity Fund 2013-2014 and by an award in 2014 from the Quick Start Fund for Public Engagement (Memorial University). We acknowledge with thanks the participation of the Engineering graduate students in the Lead by Design Institute in April 2014, as well as the contributions of guest speakers and other supporters. Ethical approval of this research was granted by the Interdisciplinary Committee on Ethics in Human Research at Memorial University.
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