- 9:56 AM

200 Years of Chemical Engineering Education: The Need for Both Scholarly Teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Michael J. Prince, Chemical Engineering, Bucknell University, Department of Chemical Engineering, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837

Most engineering faculty teach in the way that they were taught, not because they're convinced by the research that supports the effectiveness of traditional methods but because these methods are familiar and comfortable. Curricula in chemical engineering programs have remained essentially unchanged for 50 years for much the same reason. If our pedagogy and curricula were unchanging because the best available research evidence showed that both were meeting our needs better than any alternatives, that would be fine. Unfortunately, that just isn't the case.

Clearly, engineering programs should evolve to reflect changes in what we know about teaching and learning. It's just common sense to let the best available research findings guide our decisions as educators, and this presentation will discuss at least two consequences of accepting that conclusion. First, there must be professionals who are deeply knowledgeable about engineering to help conduct the necessary research. That work of extending what we know about teaching and learning within a discipline is the scholarship of teaching and learning. The second consequence of accepting the original premise is that engineering faculty must incorporate the best available research findings when developing their classes and curricula. That activity is frequently called scholarly teaching.

This presentation will make the case that these activities, scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning, are both essential if chemical engineering education is to evolve over the next century and be as good as it needs to be. The talk will offer examples of both scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning, and will provide an overview of opportunities and challenges in each area as chemical engineering as a discipline moves into the next century.