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A joint venture model for teaching required courses in 'ethics and engineering' to engineering students

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We present our experience, spanning more than 10 years of teaching a course on 'ethics and engineering' for a group of MSc programmes in applied sciences at Delft University of Technology. The course is taught by a team of teachers from the faculty of Applied Sciences and from the department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, on a basis of complementarity and equality. We call it the Joint Venture teaching model. We conclude that the Joint Venture teaching model, in combination with the contents and teaching methods of the course, are successful. The course is a positively perceived element in the curricula. But we also point to a threat to the Joint Venture teaching model. As it may not be very attractive for staff from a technical faculty to participate in this kind of teaching, the availability of motivated and qualified staff from a technical faculty may be a problem. Mitigation of this threat requires sustained commitment from a technical faculty, and hence this is a necessary condition for a successful and sustained application of our teaching model.

Keywords: ethics for scientists; institutional and organisational factors; teaching methods; technologists and engineers

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Faculty of TPM, Delft University of Technology, Delft, NL 2: Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology, Delft, NL

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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