Role of Engineering in a General Education


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Title: Role of Engineering in a General Education

Author(s): W. E. Fluhr

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 72


Appears on pages(s): 287-304

Keywords: education; engineering; engineering education.

Date: 12/1/1981

Many educators andeducationalinstitutions are examining their fundamental beliefs about what constitutes an education to prepare graduates for the twenty-first century. More and more universities are returnin g to a core curriculum for all students as a mans of introducing graduates to abodyofknmledge too important for any graduate to miss. In the technological world of today and of the future, there is an urgent need for all college graduates to understand the basis of technology in their liberal education. I recommend that a dynamically balanced core curriculum for all students be composed of courses from humani ties, science and mathematics, social science, and engineering. These specifically designed core courses in engineering for all undergraduates would have three purposes: (1) to provide an understanding of the application of science and mathematics to the benefit of mankind, (2) to provide an understanding of the engineering method which could be used as an approach to the solution of many different classes of societal problems, and (3) to prepare students for a world of accelerating technological change and thus instill in them the understanding that education must be a continuing process. Engineering educators must assume the responsibility to participate in the general education of all undergraduate students.