Engineering education in Sweden as in the rest of the world is experiencing a decline in student interest. There are concerns about the ways in which students think about engineering education, why they join an academic programme in engineering, and why they persist in their studies. In this context the aims of the Nationellt ämnesdidaktiskt Centrum för Teknikutbildning i Studenternas Sammanhang project (CeTUSS) is to investigate the student experience and to identify and support a continuing network of interested researchers, as well as in building capacity for disciplinary pedagogic investigation.
The Stepping Stones project brings together these interests in a multi-researcher, multi-institutional study that investigates how students and academic staff perceive engineering in Sweden and in Swedish education. The first results of that project are reported here. As this study is situated uniquely in Swedish education, it allows for exploration of a Swedish perspective on conceptions of engineering. The Stepping Stones project was based on a model of research capacity-building previously instantiated in the USA and Australia (Fincher & Tenenberg, 2006).
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