A Critical Thinking Paradigm for Materials and Manufacturing Education

Sayyad Zahid Qamar, Ramanathan Arunachalam, Sayyad Basim Qamar

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

Engineering can be broadly defined as the application of scientific principles to the design and manufacture of useful products. Product complexity is increasing due to rapid advancements in engineering and technology, and continued induction of innovative techniques and products. Key skills required for successful engineering today include the ability to solve complex and open-ended problems, and independent and critical thinking. Critical thinking (CT) can be described as objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement. Unfortunately, engineering educators generally find it difficult to foster critical thinking among their students. This work-in-progress paper describes a strategy to inculcate critical thinking ability in engineering graduates. Examples are taken from two core courses in the Materials and Manufacturing stream. Several critical thinking models were explored, such as Gibbs' reflective cycle model, Facione's model, Kronholm model, and King and Kitchener's model. Paul and Elder's (P-E) model for critical thinking was found to be more suited for engineering. P-E model provides a good basis for the way in which engineers think, and is especially suited for CT as it targets issues such as creativity, design development, and professional and ethical issues. Learning objectives for the Materials Science and Manufacturing Processes courses were revised to incorporate CT elements. Instructional strategy (especially discussion and interactive sessions) was modified to include CT aspects. Assessment plans were amended to address the revised course learning objectives. Relevant assessment rubrics were revised to include CT features, wherever needed. This paradigm, targeting learning experiences related to critical thinking, can also be applied to other engineering, science, and non-science courses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - Jul 26 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 29 2021

Keywords

  • Assessment plan
  • Critical thinking
  • CT models
  • Engineering education
  • Instructional strategy
  • Learning objectives
  • Materials and manufacturing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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