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Becoming a Human Engineer: A Philosophical Inquiry into Engineering Education as Means or Ends

Title: Becoming a Human Engineer
Subtitle: A Philosophical Inquiry into Engineering Education as Means or Ends
Subject Classification: Education, Philosophy, Morals, Technology
BIC Classification: JN, HP, HPQ
Binding: Hardback, Paperback, ebook, pp.166
Publication date: 3rd February 2022
ISBN (Hardback): 978-1-871891-75-1
ISBN (Paperback): 978-1-80441-253-4
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-871891-76-8

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Despite the importance of engineering and technology in economic, social, and other aspects of our lives what it means to develop as an engineer, and how this is to occur, is not widely discussed. Becoming a Human Engineer explores the moral and ethical challenges of educating engineers through the philosophical lens of personalism, a branch of philosophy that puts the person first, seeing human growth and development as central to good. Building from the philosophy of the 20th century philosopher John Macmurray, this book explores how ethics and education intersect through a continuous cycle of action and reflection.

By pulling together disparate and wide-ranging topics across engineering education, several promising areas of future work are identified. Engineering methods and ways of reflection are deeply embedded in engineering education to the extent that they may interfere with becoming a person. A focus on specific knowledges must complement rather than distract from developing the habits of mind necessary for engineers to adapt to a changing world. Providing meaningful experiences and explicitly focusing on developing multiple ways to reflect on these experiences are shown to be critical for the holistic development of engineers as persons.


Author: Alan Cheville studied optoelectronics and ultrafast optics at Rice University, then spent fourteen years as a faculty member at Oklahoma State University working on terahertz frequencies and engineering education, developing resources in photonics and engineering design. After serving for two and a half years as a program director in engineering education at the National Science Foundation, he took a chair position in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at Bucknell University.  He is currently interested in engineering design education, engineering education policy, and the philosophy of engineering education. He serves on several national-level advisory boards. Recently he helped found the Maker-E, an electronic MakerSpace for students.


This title is currently being reviewed. Please check back for further updates in due course. 


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