Engineering Education in Society
The Engineering Education in Society research group aims to influence the strategic development of engineering education from a broad perspective. We aim to contribute to the development of the competencies relevant for Sweden to continue to develop as a leader in engineering education internationally. Our goal is to prepare and equip KTH and our partners for a rapidly changing society.
The role of Engineering Education in society
We are studying how engineering education should develop as a discipline, pedagogically and socially to best meet the goals described in the university regulations. We are also looking forward to understanding what will be required in the future. Our goal is to help KTH and our partners to be prepared to facilitate rapid change.
Our research also explores how we create a broad interest in engineering education and engineering in the school in general. This aims to help more young people from all walks of life choose a career in the engineering sector and to contribute to the strengthening of technological awareness in society.
Our research reflects, challenges and solves problems that arise in an engineering education context. To do that, we use theoretical frameworks that are applicable for this purpose, and we can take advantage of several research paradigms depending on the problem. We use both qualitative and quantitative methods, also dependent on the issue.
The Engineering Council's expectations
At present, there is no consistency between what the student and the university teacher expect from an engineering education. In order to achieve consensus on the development of engineering education, from student teams, universities and employers, we are now launching a new project that takes the lead in a qualitative study of different actors’ views on the future of engineering. For this project, we are now looking for one to two doctoral students who are expected to start their studies in 2018.
Nordic initiative for STEM education
Future Nordic engineers: a powerful driving force in the global economy
“The fourth Industrial revolution and the involved disruptive changes will have an impact on the employment landscape, business models in companies and the education systems. There is an emergence of new sector demands, new skills and competences, which calls for agile responses from both the private and public sector. Especially, the modernisation of the education systems is in focus. According to the World Economic Forum report: The future of Jobs, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that do not exist yet.”
Our research group participates as one of four universities in this project, the other universities are Aalborg University, Aalto University and Reykjavik University. KTH is also the coordinator of the project, funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the universities involved.
CDE - Challenge Driven Education
Challenge-Driven Education is the term used to describe where students are dealing with real challenges that have been given by an external social actor. The students usually work in a project team in a problem-based way to develop solutions to the problem, where the solution is in line with the 17 global environmental goals. Our research group studies how CDE works and how CDE is implemented in education programs in different environments, currently in Africa and in Europe. A PhD student is currently funded in the project by InnoEnergy.
Teacher’s educational skills in the field of engineering at school
Two doctoral students are researching how teachers’ skills are developed specifically in teaching technology. We use PCK (pedagogical content knowledge) as a starting point for our analyses and reflections. The group has studied how teachers’ skills develop in the field of teacher education. Here, too, a model is developed to analyse activity in a technology class in order to improve the prerequisites for good teaching in technology.
The group has competencies in educational assessment, where we focused specifically on comparative judgments, or rather Adaptive Comparative Judgment (ACJ). Today there are two research projects financed by Nordplus Junior.
How does people's spatial ability contribute to learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)? The group has a doctoral student who has studied intelligence for a number of years to develop a theoretical connection between spatial ability and STEM education.
How do students' attitudes and self-confidence develop for STEM?
In order to provide opportunities to participate in technological development, it is important to understand how people perceive science and technology, both as engineering students and later in life. Several studies have been carried out in this field and in autumn 2018 we hope to recruit a postdoc who, together with other researchers, can develop research in this area.
The research team
Marc de Vries, Professor, Delft University