International Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD) (7th : 2015)

Lead by design : pedagogical approaches to foster reflective practice and career-long sustainable professional development Moloney, Cecilia; Rosales, Janna; Badenhorst, Cecile; Roberts, Jonas


In the 21st century, practicing engineers are working under conditions of rapid change, both in the technologies of engineering as well as in the contexts in which engineering is practiced. The “grand challenges” of today and of the future require a broad range of knowledge and skills, and the capacity to connect engineering with other sectors. To respond, universities must educate engineers who understand engineering principles at fundamental levels, but who also have nimble design and process skills. This paper presents findings from a research project that developed, implemented and evaluated new diversity-attracting integrative pedagogies intended to tap into the motivations and values that engineering students bring to their work and study. Our initiative responds both to the changing demands on engineers and to ongoing efforts to increase the retention of women in the profession. Our research findings show the importance of narratives in fostering the reflective practice that can underpin both a sense of identity as an engineer and professional sustainability.

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