“Supporting engineers as engaged and socially responsible leaders, reflective practitioners, and innovators and stewards of technology in a rapidly changing world.”
My teaching philosophy has been shaped by my engineering training in structured thinking and problem solving, my reflective practice in working as a consultant in engineering and software development, my experience both as academic leader in the Ontario college system and as a university faculty member teaching aspiring engineers.
Students and practicing engineers need to be actively involved and engaged in their own learning, professional development, and personal development. The most important responsibility of the teacher is to create an environment where this is possible. This requires the teacher to find a balance between theory, observation of practice, and doing. Particularly important is the aspect of “doing” where project-based or experiential learning opportunities allow a student to integrate the understanding of engineering concepts applied within the social contexts of teams and the environment.
For both students and practicing engineers, this often requires coaching as well as intentional development of professional skills such as leadership, teamwork, listening, empathy, and life long learning. This starts with an understanding of self, a grounding in reflective practice, and development of a curiosity for thinking beyond the technical aspects of an engineering education. In my teaching, I project my own enthusiasm for learning, extend an understanding of the relevance of the engineering profession in society, introduce opportunities for curiosity driven learning as well as provide opportunities to understand the value in frames of thinking in the social sciences and humanities. While technical knowledge is foundational for competence in the engineering discipline, the lasting value from an engineering education comes from the ability to apply the knowledge in the social context of the world.