Nurturing Engineering Habits of Mind in the 21st Century Learners
Keywords:engineering habits of mind, engineering design challenge, teacher support, school leadership, community partnership
The 21st-century community expects schools to equip students with skills like creativity, collaboration, effective communication, ethics, optimism, and systems thinking. These life skills are also referred to as engineering habits of mind (EHoM) that engineers use when they solve societal problems that impede progress. They are not, however, richly cultivated in STEM classroom practices. Students’ learning is not often aligned with the demands of life beyond school. This theoretical paper explores the six engineering habits of mind that need to permeate students’ learning, such as systems thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, optimism, and ethical considerations. An ill-structured (having no clear direction to a solution) problem-solving approach is deemed significant in developing EHoM. Such nurturing calls for a re-engineering of the teachers’ instructional practices to draw relevant support from the administration, parents, and community to promote efficacy.