Engineering education, practice and engineering education research: critical realist insights

Kotta, Linda (2011). Engineering education, practice and engineering education research: critical realist insights. In: Proceedings of the 2011 AAEE Conference, Freemantle, Western Australia. 2011 AAEE Conference, Fremantle, Western Australia, (19-31). 5-7 December, 2011.

Author Kotta, Linda
Title of paper Engineering education, practice and engineering education research: critical realist insights
Conference name 2011 AAEE Conference
Conference location Fremantle, Western Australia
Conference dates 5-7 December, 2011
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 2011 AAEE Conference, Freemantle, Western Australia
Place of Publication Western Australia
Publisher Australasian Association for Engineering Education
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Fully published paper
Start page 19
End page 31
Total pages 13
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Given that 2011 has been declared, by Engineers Australia, the year of Humanitarian Engineering, it seems fitting that the conference theme is engineering for social justice, encompassing community involvement, ethics and sustainability. This opens the door for the introduction of new approaches for engaging with the world, which extend the current mandate of the engineering professional, as well as that of the engineering educator and engineering education researcher. The invited paper draws on critical realist insights to argue that the world of the engineering professional is stratified and complex. These insights are used to argue that the engineering education research mandate needs to be emancipatory and thus prioritise the uncovering of structures and mechanisms which cause the effects (social, environmental etc) and phenomena that we see in the world. Engineers, in all their activities, whether in practice, in pedagogy, in research, and in engineering education research, need to ask the question, ‘what does the world have to be like for things to be as they are?’ In order to do this, a multiplicity of approaches will be required underpinned by concerns with both being (ontology) and knowing (epistemology), and which do not privilege ‘scientifically verifiable’ evidence over other notions of evidence. Further, it is argued that such positivist epistemologies, which have sustained and continue to sustain scientific activity and research, cannot be assumed to be appropriate for emancipatory engineering work.
Keyword Engineering education
Critical realism
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Chemical Engineering Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 15 Sep 2013, 03:53:24 EST by Linda Kotta on behalf of School of Chemical Engineering