Helping Engineering Educators Reflect On and Adapt to Changing Contexts

Helping Engineering Educators Reflect On and Adapt to Changing Contexts

M. Christie (2007).  Helping Engineering Educators Reflect On and Adapt to Changing Contexts. 3.


The interaction session described herein is based on a paper in which the author reports on a piece of action research that aimed at helping teachers uncover, question and subsequently change assumptions on which they base their teaching and supervision. Flannagan’s critical incident technique was used as the main research method.

The author coordinates pedagogical courses for staff Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. Some of the teachers come to the course with fairly fixed ideas about how one should teach and what one can expect from students. In many cases their views are fairly traditional. They often blame what they see as falling standards on the intake of larger numbers of less talented students. They tend to teach in a traditional way, using set lectures, tutorials, laboratory exercises and end-of-term closed book exams.

Many have rarely questioned this method and can be suspicious of new teaching methods such as the CDIO initiative. This paper (and interactive workshop) focuses on how they are introduced to alternative ways of teaching that might be bettersuited to changing contexts, including a more diverse and demanding student body.


Authors (New): 
Michael Christie
Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
critical incident technique
teaching and learning
analytical reflection
Christie, M. and Young, R., Critical incidents in vocational teaching, NTU Press, Darwin, 1995. See the bibliography for other studies: 
Flannagan, J.C. ‘The critical incident technique’ in Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 51, 1954, pp 327-58: 
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