Literature-Generated Empathy to Teach 'Green' Engineering Ethics
Conference contribution, 2018

While understanding ethical concerns is of great importance, it is often not sufficiently addressed in engineering education. To help fill this gap, I propose activities that use literature to move students toward more personal engagement with sustainability issues. These tasks involve each student taking the perspective of a fictional character to better understand his or her views on sustainability, and it also asks students to explicitly analyze their own thinking on the subject. As an example, I use Isaac Asimov’s novella The Martian Way (1952). By having students take the point of view of a fictional character and use the ethical complexity of Asimov’s “anti-waster” campaign in The Martian Way, this task invokes the empathy necessary to apprehend a fictional character’s perspective as a springboard to cultivate students’ understanding of the social implications of “green” issues, but can be adapted for other ethics-based goals

engineering ethics

empathy

interdisciplinarity

pedagogy

Author

Kathryn Strong Hansen

Chalmers, Communication and Learning in Science, Language and Communication (Chalmers)

12th European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts Conference
Copenhagen, Denmark,

Subject Categories

Didactics

Ethics

Learning

Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work

More information

Latest update

2/18/2020