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Mark Somerville at Olin College and I have been working since 2012 on a book about transformation in engineering education. The book is entitled A Whole New Engineer: The Coming Revolution in Engineering Education. We are in the final stages of editing and production, and the book is now scheduled to be released t 1 October 2014. To be available in hardcover and e-book versions, the book is 294 pages long and presents the founding of both Olin College & the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education (iFoundry) and lessons derived from these two very different institutions with very different ages, sizes, and missions.
For the last few months, we’ve been sharing chapters with thought leaders around the world, including academics, business writers, and other change agents, and the reaction to the book thus far has been gratifying. Some of these reviewers have written testimonials for the book, and you can see them at this link (here).
The book is divided into an introduction, 9 chapters, and an epilogue as follows:
- Introduction: An Improbable Journey
- Chapter 1: Engineering Happiness – The Olin Experience
- Chapter 2: The Incubator – Helping a Big Old Dog Learn New Tricks
- Chapter 3: The Spirit of Invention – Recapturing the Inspiration of Engineering Education
- Chapter 4: The Whole New Engineer – Engaging the 6 Minds
- Chapter 5: The Emotional Breakthrough – 5 Pillars of Transformation
- Chapter 6: The Whole New Learner – From Carrots and Sticks to Intrinsic Motivation
- Chapter 7: The Whole New Professor – From Expert to Coach
- Chapter 8: The Whole New Culture – From Classrooms and Curriculum to Culture
- Chapter 9: Changing the Way We Change – From Bureaucracy to Change Management
- Epilogue: An Invitation to Collaborative Disruption
The book opens by reflecting on how Olin, iFoundry, and their partnership were both individually and jointly unlikely, but how the lessons learned from these experiences points in a surprising direction for education reform in engineering and elsewhere.
Chapters at a Glance
Chapters 1 and 2 recount the Olin and iFoundry stories and how they became intertwined. Chapter 3 tells the story of how engineering education arrived at its current state; it also examines the forces that have brought about the current misalignments that demand reform.
Chapters 4 & 5 reflect on some of the lessons learned from the Olin and iFoundry experience. Chapter 5 calls for an engineering education with six minds–analytical, design, people, body, linguistic, and mindful–and a growth mindset. Chapter 6 suggests that the pillars for reform are not curricular or pedagogical, but cultural and emotional calling for five pillars of a new engineering education: joy, trust, courage, openness, and connection.
Chapter 6 through 9 are what we call the technologies of trust. It is one thing to call for reform. It is another thing to bring it about in practice, but one of the cool things of our times is that we are blessed to be surrounded by a bounty of social, organizational, and cultural understanding and science to draw upon. The technologies of trust discussed in the book are as follows: intrinsic motivation, coaching, culture, and change management.
The Epilogue calls for all stakeholders to come together to collaboratively disrupt the status quo. The Big Beacon has been calling for exactly this kind of disruption since its founding in 2012, and Mark and I are hopeful that the book will provide the motivation and means for the formation of an effective movement to bring about change. As the book launches, Big Beacon is stepping up its efforts to recruit volunteers, partner organizations, and to highlight bright spots in educational transformation.
Using the Book to Shake Things Up
Plans are underway for launch events around the world. Stay tuned to this site for more information. Also, bulk orders for the book can now be place for universities and other organizations at discounts to the list price. If you or your organization are interested in promoting transformation in engineering education by sponsoring or co-sponsoring an event in your region or if you’d like to get early copies of the book into important hands, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work together to promote effective transformation of engineering education together.