Missing Basics at Union College


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Korte, Goldberg & Somerville present missing basics at Union College ELE-2010

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Missing Basics at Union College

  1. 1. Introducing the Missing BasicsRedefining the Concepts of Rigor & Basics in Engineering Education<br />Russell Korte1, David E. Goldberg1, & Mark Somerville2University of Illinois1 & Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering2Urbana, IL 618011 & Needham, MA2korte@illinois.edu, deg@illinois.edu,& mark.somerville@olin.edu<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Active Exercise<br />Handout<br />Work alone<br />Discuss together<br />Report back<br />Discussion of assumptions<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Roadmap<br />Reflections on 20 years in industrially sponsored senior design.<br />The missing basics: A powerful linguistic reframing.<br />Why does this work?<br />A model for creating sticky stories/language.<br />Other examples of sticky language from Olin & Illinois.<br />3<br />
  4. 4. A Linguistic Reframing from Senior Design<br />Senior design as way to see the end.<br />General Engineering at UIUC established in 1921 following curriculum study.<br />Grinter report of 1955 led to more math and engineering science at expense of design.<br />UCLA conference 1962.<br />Ford Foundation grant 1966.<br />Money ran out 1971.<br />Industrial funding supports thereafter.<br />Stephen R. Covey (b. 1932 )<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Ready, Set, Go<br />These are seniors.<br />Should be engineers on the threshold.<br />Express preferences for projects.<br />Get assigned to a project: 3-member teams & faculty advisor.<br />Go on the plant trip.<br />Query: What don’t they know how to do?<br />5<br />
  6. 6. Failure 1: Inability to Ask<br /><ul><li>Don’t know how to frame or ask good questions.
  7. 7. Difficulty probing the problem.
  8. 8. Trouble querying what has been tried.
  9. 9. Problem learning about vendors and sources of information.
  10. 10. Historical terms: Socrates 101.</li></ul>Socrates (470-399 BCE)<br />6<br />
  11. 11. Failure 2: Inability to Label<br /><ul><li>Don’t know names of common systems, assemblies, and components of technology.
  12. 12. Difficulty labeling new artifact concepts or models.
  13. 13. Linguistically naïve.
  14. 14. Mainly comfortable with familiar categories and objects.
  15. 15. Historical terms: Aristotle 101. </li></ul>Aristotle (384-322 BCE)<br />7<br />
  16. 16. The Missing Basics of Engineering<br />After 4 years students don’t know how to<br />Question: Socrates 101.<br />Label: Aristotle 101.<br />Model conceptually: Hume 101 & Aristotle 102.<br />Decompose: Descartes 101.<br />Experiment/Measure: Bacon-Locke 101.<br />Visualize/draw: da Vinci-Monge 101.<br />Communicate: Newman 101<br />Call these the missing basics (MBs).<br />Socrates (470-399 BC)<br />8<br />
  17. 17. Why Does This Work?<br />5 reasons:<br />Talk of the “basics” suggests fixed, unreflective paradigm of engineering education.<br />Term “missing” suggests lacunae.<br />Each MB is important thinking skill & connecting great thinkers is appeal to tradition & authority.<br />MBs claimed as engineering canon not just part of humanities & social sciences.<br />Talk of method builds bridges across disciplines<br />Forms vision or conceptual postcard to guide repair. <br />9<br />
  18. 18. Made to Stick<br />Consciously created formula designed to counter conventional thought and be memorable or sticky.<br />Locution/Story is sticky if it is SUCCES:<br />Simple<br />Unexpected<br />Concrete<br />Credible<br />Emotional<br />Stories<br />10<br />
  19. 19. Other Illinois & Olin Linguistic Exemplars<br />Examples:<br />Passionate pursuits<br />Design = people to people<br />Innovation = Feasibility + Viability + Desirability<br />Math-science death march<br />Academic change is a NIMBY problem.<br />The three joys: Joy of engineering, joy of community, & joy of Learning<br />Honor student aspirations & choices to build engineering identity.<br />Intentionally hit both rational/reflective & emotional buttons.<br />11<br />
  20. 20. Bottom Line<br />Language & paradigm of engineering education obstacle to reform.<br />Missing basics move critical “soft” skills into the engineering canon. <br />Philosophical reflection & rhetorical constructions important to engineering education transformation.<br />Language crucial to efforts at both Olin & Illinois.<br />Transformation of engineering education is in part a “war of words.”<br />Become a linguistic soldier.<br />12<br />Socrates (470-399 BC)<br />
  21. 21. Contacts & Information<br />Olin College: www.olin.edu<br />Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education (www.ifoundry.illinois.edu)<br />1 meeting:<br />Engineer of the Future 3.0: Unleashing Student Engagement, 14-15 November 2010, UIUC, www.apie2.org<br />Seek student leaders for advisory board (with faculty/admin mentors).<br />2 papers: Why Philosophy? Why Now? & The Missing Basics (http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/perl/search, author search for “Goldberg”).<br />This powerpoint and other reflections at www.slideshare.net/deg511<br />13<br />
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