284331 Preparing Students for 2020

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 10:39 AM
329 (Convention Center )
Joseph J. Biernacki and Pedro E. Arce, Chemical Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN

The freshman student at large is unprepared to think critically, find creative solutions to real-world problems and to work efficiently on teams.  Ultimately, it is our job, the faculty, to train students in the necessary skills to enter the 21st Century workforce.  The days of lecturing, assuming that students will perform well on teams later and hoping that they might discover how to think critically on their own are long gone.  We can no longer assume that our lectures and projects will help students to become problem solvers, critical thinkers or team players or that someone else will teach them those skills.  So, what can be done and how can we integrate these skills into our courses and still have time for all those equations?  What do we know about teaching teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking anyway?  Examples from a curriculum involving a number of new paradigms will be presented.  Continuous contact starting from the freshman year, introducing teamwork immediately and pervasively across the curriculum, deliberately teaching teamwork and critical thinking skills as well as focusing on developing proficiency in the application of unifying formalisms rather than compartmentalization and formula driven engineering practice are among some strategies for tackling both the technical and skill-based content necessary to produce the Engineer for 2020.

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See more of this Session: Free Forum On Engineering Education: The First Year Experience
See more of this Group/Topical: Education Division