philosophy and engineering education
In 2005 a review of engineering education
publications in the area of philosophy and engineering
showed that the majority were concerned with the role of
and teaching of ethics. There were some in which the
term philosophy was used to explain the rationale behind
new programmes. One or two discussed the relevance of
philosophy to engineering education, and Koen had just
published his major discourse on method.
Since then there has been a major thrust to develop a
philosophy of engineering that is distinct from the
philosophy of science. Much attention has focused on the
differences between engineering, science and technology.
This movement has had support from the lead
professional academies in a number of countries (e.g.
China, The Netherlands, the UK and the US). It has
inspired seminars and a major international meeting in
the Netherlands. The purpose of this paper is to review
some of the more than 100 small and large published
contributions during the last three years.
No attempt is made to review all of them. The purpose is
to give the flavour of the debate. It is clear that the
mingling of engineering and philosophy raises profound
issues and creates great challenges that obligate a
response from the engineering community. Many of the
publications have something to say about either the
curriculum or instruction but they do not draw on the
philosophy of education. There is a need for the two
philosophies to come together to create a more informed
critique of engineering education.