The sun above, the future ahead…

I had the opportunity to present and attend at the ASEE 2021 (American Society for Engineering Education) Conference & Exposition (Virtual) (July 26-29, 2021). My presentation was part of a larger study on transdisciplinary knowledge (which in this study, we chose to highlight systems thinking, metacognition, and empathy) in engineering education at UBC Faculty of Engineering with fantastic co-authors and mentors Prof. Susan Nesbit (Civil Engineering), Prof. Peter Ostafichuk (Mechanical Engineering), and Prof. Naoko Ellis (Chemical and Biological Engineering).

While our study focuses on engineering education, transdisciplinary knowledge is also a very relevant discipline across STEM education in all levels (elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education). In fact, as society as whole continues to absorb the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need among schools, learning institutions, and universities to connect STEM programs and curricula with the changing demands of local, national, and international community and stakeholders. Kindly access our presentation as summarised below.

Presentation: ASEE 2021 Annual Conference_July 28 2021

Thank you very much for the funding and support from the UBC Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Interdisciplinary socialisation for the pandemic cohort

With my postdoc supervisors Dr. Phillion and Dr. Zeadin, we wrote an article which started saying:

Finishing high school and starting university is a huge leap for anyone. It can be daunting, especially when it’s hard to see what lies on the other side of the leap.

Today, with COVID-19’s third wave showing its ugly head, overall cases across Canada continue to drop while there are variant hotspot areas of concern, and experts warn about the need for ongoing vigilance.

Meanwhile, the second cohort of high-school graduates to experience the COVID-19 pandemic prepares to make one of the biggest transitions of their lives. Universities, meanwhile, have made and are making huge changes to welcome incoming students and provide the best possible education while easing students into their new lives. When the pandemic is finally over, it seems certain the university of the future will be permanently altered — and ideally improved. University orientations and systems for supporting student academic success are no exception. (Please continue reading at The Conversation Canada).

From kindergarten and beyond.

Not all truth, wisdom, and joy are at the top of the graduate-school mountain (Fulghum, 1990). Some are at the sandpile at Kindergarten school. Some are in the smiles and frowns of kids at the playground. A few are with colleagues, in hallways, and in the labs. Others are on the stretch of the seashore, riverbanks, and starry skies.

Most of the things I learned in life, I learned in Kindergarten school and in early years of my education. Things like (Robert Fulghum, 1990):

Share and help one another. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Be aware of wonder. Goldfish and hamsters and little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all grow and die. So do we.

And as Robert Fulghum continues, “everything [I] you need to know is in there somewhere.  The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.”

Robert suggests, “take any of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your work or government or work and it hold true and clear and firm.”

©Robert Fulghum, 1990 “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten