October 2006

NCETE Fellows Participate in ASEE Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

NCETE Research Director, Scott Johnson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and four NCETE fellows, Yong Zeng of UIUC, Jenny Daugherty of UIUC, Cameron Denson of UGA, and Doug Walrath of USU, traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in October and attended the first annual Student Forum for the Global Colloquium on Engineering Education.

ASEEStudents from around the globe met during the daylong Student Forum to exchange ideas and learn about how engineers are educated in other countries. The students divided into groups to discuss such topics as elementary and secondary education and how it might attract more students to engineering; engineering education research; the strengths of various methods of preparing engineering students around the world; and sustainability and globalization. The students moderated the breakout discussions and reported the highlights of their discussion to the full group. An evaluation of the Student Forum resulted in a very positive response. The Forum helped to foster cross-cultural discussions on global issues that face engineering in the future.

The NCETE fellows were also active participants in the main conference of the Global Colloquium. The opportunity to participate in a major international conference focused on engineering education provided a unique experience for the fellows. The topics that were discussed covered a wide range of critical issues facing engineering and technology education. These included how to attract a more diverse clientele to engineering, how to improve the quality of the teaching and learning process in engineering and technology education, and strategies for internationalizing the curriculum. In addition to hearing about cutting edge ideas and current research efforts, the fellows had the opportunity to establish professional networks with students, faculty, and industrial representatives from around the globe. The NCETE fellows served as ambassadors for both the Center and the field of technology education. Their active involvement in scholarly discussions raise the awareness of engineering educators and corporate sponsors to the current status and potential of technology education as a contributing partner in the advancement of engineering education.

The two-hour meeting involved a presentation by the Center followed by a question and answer period. The Center’s presentation began with an overview of the Center’s goals and partnerships. This was followed by a discussion of the Graduate Program that highlighted the fellows, the success of the cohort system, and the core courses. This was followed by a discussion of the Technology Teacher Education Program and its work with professional development and pre-service curriculum. The Research Program discussion focused on the research goals, the NCETE Research Framework, and the RFP process. The closing portion of the presentation discussed dissemination and emerging impacts.

The questions the Center was asked to address focused on three areas, preparing the fellows to be researchers and leaders in the field of ETE, evaluation, and research. After the questions, the external review panel met and discussed their impressions, concerns, and recommendations.

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This material is based on work supported by the
National Science Foundation Under Grant No. ESI-0426421