ThinQ Event: ThinQ-FACE Webinar - Developing Thinking Abilities Relevant for Engineering Education

Start Time (IST): 5:00 PM, Apr 28 2020

End Time (IST): 6:00 PM, Apr 28 2020

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A Bachelor's program in Engineering should empower learners to function well in their jobs as Engineers, and at the same time, function well as educated people in their professional, public, and personal lives. How do we satisfy these two expectations? 

A report from the Royal Academy of Engineering addresses this question by listing the attributes of mind needed for thinking like an Engineer, in terms of three concentric circles: Core Engineering mind, Engineering Habits of Mind, and Learning Habits of Mind. To this, we would add a fourth circle: Inquiring Habits of Mind. 

An engineer is one who solves a problem at hand by integrating existing knowledge from different domains while also creating knowledge on-the-go, as needed. For example, take the task of the engineer who is involved in the project of sending a manned mission to the moon to shoot an asteroid approaching the earth. Does the engineer know everything that is needed to accomplish this mission? Not really. We know how to send a man to the moon. But we don't know how to set up a machine that can shoot an asteroid from the moon. This is where the inquiring habits of mind come in. 

The situation is similar to a closer-to-home one: that of designing a robot that can deliver food parcels to every household. We know how to design a robot, but delivering food parcels to every household? No, we don't know that yet. But we can create that know-how/knowledge if we have the inquiring habits of mind. 

What are the predispositions and habits of mind needed for creating that knowledge? What concepts and abilities do we need to create that knowledge? Interestingly, these are the same abilities, predispositions and habits of mind, as well as similar concepts in many cases, that are needed to create knowledge across domains. In this webinar, we outline some of these abilities, predispositions and habits of thought, and illustrate with a few exercises how one can nurture these thinking abilities and habits of mind.

Here are responses to questions which were asked during the webinar, but we were unable to get to due to lack of time.

Here is the presentation used in the webinar.

Recording of the Webinar:




KP Mohanan