Interpreting critical thinking for engineering education - the views of employers and academics

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Critical thinking in the University A.Ahern.pdf161.43 kBAdobe PDFDownload
Title: Interpreting critical thinking for engineering education - the views of employers and academics
Authors: Ahern, Aoife
O'Connor, Tom
Mac Ruairc, Gerry
McNamara, Martin
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/4118
Date: Aug-2011
Abstract: Third level educators are increasingly being called on to clarify the nature of the education they provide and the contribution of their graduates to society. There is therefore considerable interest in the generic attributes of graduates (Jones 2009), and how educational institutions can describe the quality of their graduates in ways that are meaningful to a wide range of stakeholders, including employers, professional groups and policy makers (Barrie 2006). Critical thinking is considered by some to be the primary graduate attribute yet difficulties remain in arriving at precise definitions of the concept and how it is theorised for educational practice. This paper addresses this issue and offers a theoretical framework for critical thinking as it applies to engineering education. The paper will describe: a series of interviews and documentary analysis of course work and course descriptors in the university that examine the perspective of academics from various disciplines and students of critical thinking. Together these data have been used with Karl Maton’s Legitimation Code Theory to develop a model of critical thinking. Also described are plans for a series of interviews which draws upon the views of employers in engineering regarding the employability of university graduates and the importance of critical thinking as an attribute for newly qualified engineers. A key finding is that critical thinking, rather than being a static attribute which is at the pinnacle of student attainment, is a dynamic concept which requires educators to guide their students through cycles of engagement with grounded descriptive knowledge and knowledge which is abstract and obtuse.
Type of material: Conference Publication
Publisher: International Network for Engineering Education and Research
Copyright (published version): 2011, International Network for Engineering Education and Research (iNEER)
Keywords: Critical thinkingThird level education
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Conference Details: ICEE : An International Conference on Engineering Education : 21-26 August 2011 : Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Appears in Collections:Civil Engineering Research Collection

Show full item record

Page view(s) 50

96
checked on May 25, 2018

Download(s) 20

360
checked on May 25, 2018

Google ScholarTM

Check


This item is available under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland. No item may be reproduced for commercial purposes. For other possible restrictions on use please refer to the publisher's URL where this is made available, or to notes contained in the item itself. Other terms may apply.