In the first installment of this article, we discussed the ways in which engineering is increasingly not the career avenue of choice for an array of talented young people who might otherwise make terrific engineers; we suggested how this situation could be reversed by adopting a new vision of the whole new engineer (WNE) and a whole new engineering education (WNEE). In particular we outlined 5 steps to the WNE and a WNEE as follows:
Step 1: Become aware how engineering and engineering education got stuck.
Step 2: Recognize ways the world has changed.
Step 3: Understand why reform efforts haven’t worked.
Step 4: Use a change approach that combines emotional, conceptual, and organizational factors.
Step 5: Trust students before they trust themselves.
In this second and final installment, we add five more steps that will help frame engineering and engineering education in a way that naturally attracts a wider group of talented young people to the challenge and joy that is engineering.
Step 6: Instill the keystone habits of noticing, listening, and questioning (NLQ). If we think of education as an iceberg, much of the effort of traditional education is above the waterline. We teach and master concepts, facts, and figures, essentially mastery of the already mastered. Education in a world of change is largely about factors below the waterline, the ability to notice, inquire, reflect, and learn. Explicit experiential training in noticing, listening, and open-ended questioning transforms schools by (1) giving teachers the tools they need to become aware of the perception, needs, and untapped potential of students, and (2) give students the tools they need to become aware of their own stories and purpose, and to guide their own learning in productive directions of their own choosing. NLQ is not the whole story, but the current system becomes more amenable to the needed changes as more students and faculty members practice NLQ.