"I read and read, and glowered; then read and read again" (Thomas Telford): Reading for a degree in civil engineering 2009-2022

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Abstract

Strategic cramming of ‘exam’ text from module reading lists is an impoverished approach to reading in higher education. It is understandable that engineering undergraduates will be prone to read less than that of humanities students. Nonetheless, through wider reading, engineering students can begin to conceptualise their professional discipline as more than the sum of mathematical and scientific prowess. In this paper I provide a synopsis of several curricular reading interventions. In 2009, a book reading coursework was introduced into a first-year civil engineering module and supported through the establishment of a department book club. Over the piece other interventions have required students to read magazines such as New Civil Engineer and National Geographic, Broadsheet & Tabloid Newspapers, and to consult the inaugural addresses of the Presidents of Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). Of late, the author has employed a Book Reading Jigsaw ‘flipped classroom’ exercise across all of his modules.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th International Symposium for Engineering Education
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781914241208
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

Keywords

  • civil engineering programmes
  • engineering education
  • reading
  • book clubs
  • jigsaws
  • reading interventions

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