Although the field of engineering offers women careers that are engaging and interesting, this career has not been a historically popular choice. Understanding why so few women consider a career in engineering is complex and hard to pin down.
I love the arts. Sure, they've never cured cancer or delivered my groceries. But they have never wreaked havoc with the climate or threatened to vaporize a city either. I'm glad that the nation's arbiters of education have finally discovered. But I also love every other discipline.
An engineering curriculum is often thought of as a separate subject, but it doesn't have to be. The reality is that engineers may need psychologists, artists and writers to complement their skills and deliver a project.
After finishing up a post over at Big Beacon on Educating Wholehearted Engineers & Educators, I was reflecting about the notion of vulnerability and the ways in which we are vulnerable both publicly and privately.
For an expert, the very idea of not knowing challenges one's self-image, one's entire story of oneself. After all experts are people who have learned and now know a lot about some particular subject, and experts are judged as good or bad depending on the extent of that knowledge.
As Taylor discusses the progress of her stroke, she tells a story of those other worlds, of connection, of oneness, of a quiet mind, and of surrender. It's a beautiful description, and an important one.
The first order of business in approaching engineering education change is to stop making it simpler than it is. Let's think more carefully about how we're going to change at the same time we think about what we would like to change.
Let's use emotional words to talk about emotional processes in educational reform. If we do this, the cool thing is that we will hasten the day when we educate wholehearted engineers and wholehearted engineering educators, both.
If you were to peek into a preschool classroom, you'd find kids whose hands would be busy and whose minds would be racing with different creative possibilities: A rollercoaster using foam pipe insulation! A rocket from a plastic water bottle! These kids are engineers. Most just don't know it.
Microsoft and countless other employers are making a conscious business decision to commoditize work, and turn to the labor market to satisfy their precise demand, just-in-time. But if, as a result, they have a "problem" with labor shortage, it's a problem of their own making.
We need to address values because they are critical for enabling real change in engineering education. After all, if you try to make a change in pedagogy or content without addressing the underlying value system, you are likely to fail.
We face unprecedented global challenges and opportunities, from the need for clean water and clean energy to fighting cyber terrorism. These challenges demand new ideas, and one obvious approach is simply to increase volume.