Kate Goodman and I have proposed a special session for the 2015 Frontiers in Education conference. Our goals are
- To foster conversation and document ideas about how the aesthetic qualities of engineering topics can be used to deliberately draw the emotional engagement of students.
- To gauge how the FIE community currently views the aesthetics of engineering, and brainstorm new visions for how aesthetics could be used to improve recruitment and retention of a diverse student population as well as lead to innovative methods for the teaching and learning of core engineering content.
- To explore the feasibility of viewing aesthetics-driven emotional engagement as a necessity and not an ancillary benefit in course design.
Really, we want to move forward on creating community around this idea. Noah Finkelstein and I did a version of this workshop at the Physics Education Research Conference 2013, and Kate and I did it in February at the CU Boulder DBER meeting. We’ve had great conversations so far, and FIE seems like the perfect next venue. Here is our proposal for the session, complete with details.
We are hoping that participants will be interested enough to check out this little background paper, or at least use it to decide whether to attend. Comments welcome!