A Broader Look at The Role of Andragogy in Engineering Education

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The word pedagogy is commonly used to describe teaching techniques and practices. However, the root of the word actually denotes ‘leading’ or teaching children. The assumptions inherent in this description may be incompatible with the desired outcomes and goals in engineering education. This work builds on previous work which explored whether the term andragogy, translated as ‘leading men’ or the education of adults, is a more appropriate term to achieve the outcomes of engineering educators and engineering societies. The previous paper used a case study approach to explore the guiding documents of mechanical engineering and the guiding documents of one mechanical engineering program and it’s key stakeholders. The work showed that there was a disconnect between the term pedagogy and the attributes required of mechanical engineers and graduates of the program, particularly when it came to assumptions about the nature of the students. The purpose of this paper is to expand upon the previous mechanical engineering-centered single case study and determine the applicability of andragogical learner assumptions to additional engineering disciplines and programs. This study examines the guiding literature of various engineering disciplines for evidence to support an andragogical orientation toward undergraduate students. In addition, the study examines strategic documents associated with multiple engineering programs to explore whether the findings of the single case study could transfer to other engineering program related contexts. Finally, the study steps beyond engineering programs to examine emerging andragogical literature. This literature survey provides engineering educators a glimpse into the next evolution of how an andragogical approach to undergraduate learners may be applied to the engineering education enterprise and accommodate more than just older, more experienced learners.
Melnyk, R., & Novoselich, B. J., & Freisinger, G. M. (2018, June), A Broader Look at The Role of Andragogy in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29657