A constructivist approach to the use of case studies in teaching Engineering Ethics

Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing 715:193-201 (2017)
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Our paper aims to explore the effectiveness of a constructivist approach to the teaching of engineering ethics through case studies, by putting forward a contextualization of the much discussed case study “Cutting Road Side Trees” [12] in light of the constructivist frame suggested by Jonassen [8]. First, we briefly analyse how the use of case studies for the teaching of engineering ethics eludes the complexity of the engineering professional environment before arguing that constructivism is a learning theory that can help to address this complexity. The final section proposes a constructivist reworking of the case method in a manner that aims to correct the deficiencies identified, followed by a discussion of the results of applying the contextualized exercise to First Year group of engineering students. The key findings reveal that the contextualized scenario enhances, in some respects, students’ understanding of the social dimension of the engineering profession.



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Diana Martin
University College London

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Engineering Practice and Engineering Ethics.Ronald Kline & William T. Lynch - 2000 - Science, Technology, and Human Values 25 (2):195-225.
Constructivism and Education.Marie Larochelle, Nadine Bednarz & Jim Garrison - 1999 - British Journal of Educational Studies 47 (3):291-293.

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