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Www.qut.edu.au Queensland University of Technology CRICOS No. 00213J Letter from the oasis: helping engineering students to become sustainability professionals.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.qut.edu.au Queensland University of Technology CRICOS No. 00213J Letter from the oasis: helping engineering students to become sustainability professionals."— Presentation transcript:

1 Queensland University of Technology CRICOS No J Letter from the oasis: helping engineering students to become sustainability professionals Patricia Kelly

2 2 Queensland University of Technology CRICOS No J Warning: not a value free zone Critical futurist “contribute … to the betterment, well-being, protection and further positive development of humankind within its environment, present and future” (Slaughter, 2004, p.45). Wider struggle towards a “partnership” future based on an understanding and appreciation of the interconnectedness of all life (Eisler, 2001, p.50) Deepest motivation to contribute to the change from the un-limited, growth-driven, anthropocentric view of the world, which has created the risks now facing this fragile planet and its increasingly damaged ecosystems (Steffen et al, 2004; UNEP, 2000; Lowe, 2003; Raskin et al, 2001

3 3 Queensland University of Technology CRICOS No J The challenge ‘Employers have complained that engineers do not come out of school with good communication skills and an understanding of how their work affects and is affected by social and economic concerns’ (Gross), Prism. American Society for Engineering Education. “A radical reshaping of engineering education is necessary to green prospective engineering graduates“ (Beder, 1996). “to develop appropriate methodologies, train a new cadre of sustainability professionals and build institutional capacity” (Raskin et al, 2002, pp. 56-7), as part of a transition to a preferred future. Sustainability a messy and contested term (Arjen & Jickling 2001) - seeking standards not setting them.

4 4 Queensland University of Technology CRICOS No J Sustainability Professionals Globally portable Globally Competent Posch’s “dynamic qualities” – “to critique, construct and act with a high degree of autonomy and self-determination, if not in their personal lives then at least in their professional lives” (1991). Wise Global Citizen: Globo sapiens: values- based, integrates personal and professional – base in global responsibility.

5 5 Queensland University of Technology CRICOS No J Reflective Process Reflective Journals (RJs) and a team-based project - assessment as a "tool for learning and growth" (Heath 2000, p.46). 11 RJs (x 300 word) on lecture topics and one set reading. The best of what we have achieved. Electronic format – fast legible, towards trust. Human face - essential on-line Power and trust issues (Boud & Walker). Don’t have to agree. Do have to be polite. Scaffolding for early journals Personal learning agreement / thinking about learning Peer Interview (week 4) Self-Interview (week 12) Readings to challenge Metaphors – mine, theirs

6 6 Queensland University of Technology CRICOS No J Qualities of Globo sapiens (Malaska, 1997). 1.S/he will be sensitive to the different ways we learn from each other and know the world 2. S/he will show evidence of global consciousness 3.S/he will be able to contemplate changes to their current way of life, rather than taking its continuation for granted. 4.S/he will be capable of trans–generational thinking 5.S/he will be able to contribute to a ‘learning society’ through growing “dispositions of generosity, of openness and of serious engagement” 6.S/he will be morally courageous ‘parrhestiastes’ (Foucault in Sidhu)

7 7 Queensland University of Technology CRICOS No J … ‘Before this subject I was really questioning the role of engineers in the global community and their relevance to society in general. … This subject has helped me to further understand what an engineer is and who an engineer is.’ (Female, NESB, 2002) ‘Engineers hold great responsibility in the development and implementation of new products and technologies thus the need to put the livelihood of people and the environment first is important. We need not only to ask, as an anonymous person said, “Can we do it” but also, “Should we do it?”.’ (Male, MA, NESB, 2002)

8 8 Queensland University of Technology CRICOS No J Airy-fairy? Transdisciplinary : “the aim of embedding various streams of knowledge in one another and seeks to re-create integrated knowledge through doing this” (Somerville 2000, p.285). Long-term thinking Benefits in relation to economic discourse 1.Overtly welcomes and builds on what students bring with them 2.Students in a large cohort recognised as individuals 3.A global dimension, rather than Anglophone or First world 4.Leads to improved oral and written skills 5.Int. students recognised, valued, respected > goodwill 6.Local & international students are developing skills and attributes needed by a world in transition.

9 9 Queensland University of Technology CRICOS No J Over to you … any questions ? You can contact us or Deborah Messer


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