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Despite contextual knowledge is considered very important for engineers in performing their profession, experiences from decades in Europe and the USA have shown that teaching such topics in engineering education is challenging and often unsuccessful. One of the dilemmas is that social science based reflections related to the use and uptake of technology in society often conflicts with engineering students’ self-understanding and identity. Another dilemma is related to the specificity and modeling reductionism in engineering science compared to the complexity of problems in engineering practice. Consequently courses added into engineering curricula emphasizing contextual issues stay in stark contrast to the dominant instrumental disciplines of mathematics and techno-science content of core engineering courses. Based on several years of teaching and experimenting with Theory of Science at the Technical University of Denmark, the paper argues that teaching contextual knowledge needs to overcome several barriers that tend to be neglected in engineering educations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Research in Engineering Symposium
Publication date2011
StatePublished - 2011
EventResearch in Engineering Symposium - Madrid


ConferenceResearch in Engineering Symposium
Period01/01/2011 → …

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ID: 6326946