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Ethics and the Development of Professional Identities of Engineering Students

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Title: Ethics and the Development of Professional Identities of Engineering Students
Author(s): Loui, Michael C.
Subject(s): engineering ethics, professional identity
Abstract: How do undergraduate students in engineering conceive of themselves as professionals? How can a course on engineering ethics affect the development of an undergraduate student's professional identity? In this project, students responded to questions about the characteristics and responsibilities of professional engineers. The results indicate that students learn about professionalism primarily from relatives and co-workers who are engineers, and rarely from technical engineering courses. Even before they study engineering ethics, students put honesty and integrity on par with technical competence as an essential characteristic of engineers. In the course, students benefit from cases of actual incidents and from classroom activities that encourage diverse perspectives on moral problems. By analyzing cases in groups and by hearing different perspectives, students build self-confidence in moral reasoning. By the end of the course, some students understand professional responsibility not only as liability for blame but in a capacious sense as stewardship for society.
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: American Society for Engineering Education
Citation Info: M. C. Loui, "Ethics and the development of professional identities of engineering students," Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 94, no. 4, pp. 383-390, October 2005.
Genre: Article
Type: TextImage
Language: English
URI: http://soa.asee.org/paper/jee/paper-view.cfm?pdf=869.pdf http://hdl.handle.net/2142/12998
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed: is peer reviewed
Sponsor: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, National Science Foundation Grant SES-0138309
Rights Information: (c) 2005 American Society for Engineering Education
Date Available in IDEALS: 2009-07-02
 

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