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Systemic Approach to Curriculum Design and Development

  • Inés Ecima
  • Maurcio Pardo
  • Gloria González-Mariño
Conference paper
Part of the Food Engineering Series book series (FSES)

Abstract

Traditional skills and knowledge are no longer the most important goals of an engineering curriculum at the university level. Due to the influence of technology and globalization, traditional engineering skills are now considered a commodity. Nowadays, the trend is to invite engineers to solve problems and make decisions based on a broader perspective instead of concentrating on a specific discipline. A branch of engineering education that has inadvertently acknowledged the need for innovation to meet the demands risen due to technological and scientific advances in the new century is food engineering. As a consequence, it has become important to reorient engineering education so that engineers are more prepared to understand the societal context of their work from both a local and global perspective. Furthermore, innovation and creativity should be coupled with the engineer’s ability to gather information, analyze it, make decisions, and take the right course of action. One way of doing this is by adopting the practice of systems thinking, a pattern of working that is not disciplinary in scope but can act as a bridge between the physical, natural and social sciences. Four universal conceptual patterns that have been observed in every system have been identified as tools that could be applied to systems thinking in any situation. This chapter introduces these tools and shows how to put into practice the systemic approach in a curriculum design, and presents an example carried out at a Colombian higher education institution called Universidad de La Sabana.

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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inés Ecima
    • 1
  • Maurcio Pardo
    • 1
  • Gloria González-Mariño
    • 2
  1. 1.Ingeniería de Producción AgroindustrialLa Sabana UniversityBogotáColombia
  2. 2.Biosciences Doctoral ProgramLa Sabana UniversityBogotáColombia

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