For the past decade, engineering education efforts at the postsecondary level have sought to create a more holistic type of critical thinker (Felder & Brent, 2015; Grasso & Burkins, 2010). As part of this initiative, engineers are encouraged to develop skills associated with constructive thinking—a pedagogical concept rooted in the belief that knowledge is constructed through continual interaction with peers and the environment (Anderson, 2013; Driscoll, 2005; Shayer, 2003). However, despite the positive ramifications linked with this pedagogical shift, studies have demonstrated that the increased use of collaborative aspects associated with constructivist teaching practices may be negatively impacting female students (Rosser, 2009; Tonso, 1996; Wolfe & Powell, 2009a, 2009b). Taking a primarily philosophical approach, the contribution of emotions to constructive thinking is explored utilizing Thayer-Bacon’s (2000) conceptualization of the concept to argue that the pedagogical shift within engineering has not fully incorporated a holistic approach to learning. The results of recent studies in engineering education are analyzed to highlight the negative consequences associated with overlooking emotions as contributors to constructive thinking primarily for female students in the field (Jones et al., 2013; Tonso, 1996, 2006; Wolfe & Powell, 2006). To conclude, the value of emotions for the engineering discipline is underscored by using work by Jaggar (1992, 1998) to explore its historical association with female thought and its overall impact on the construction of knowledge.
"Fostering Emotional Engineers: Revisiting Constructive Thinking in Engineering Education,"
Journal of Multicultural Affairs: Vol. 5:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/jma/vol5/iss1/4
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