This chapter advocates transformative teaching in later stages of sub-Saharan Africa’s engineering students’ study periods. The teaching is meant to help them discover their potential in direct solution of the region’s engineering problems. Student attention can be drawn to many of these problems through transformative teaching. Two illustrative case studies are presented. They demonstrate how students at one South African University of Technology were enabled to address common, authentic and ‘real world’ problems in the course of their learning. A review of theory of teaching modes is given first, with more focus on transformative teaching. The cases follow. The first case seeds a maintenance and continuous improvement culture among successive student cohorts, eventually producing an evolved new product ready for the market in a period of about 5 years. The second case uses multi-level, multi-national students, deploying multi-sourced funds and working at multi-premises in difficult campus study circumstances, to develop completely new products that are field-tested at two sites about 6000 km apart. Benefits, limitations and challenges of the teaching and how to navigate the latter, are given. Following its substantial benefits and the ways to overcome its challenges, transformative teaching is recommended to all engineering academics in the region.
Part of the book: Innovations in Higher Education
This chapter advocates and exemplifies a change in delivering mechanical engineering design (MED) to undergraduate students. It looks at, and critiques the current delivery mode which treats MED as an extension of Natural and Engineering Science, through its bias for analysis of existing systems. It is argued that even though students’ innovativeness might be getting slightly enhanced, their creativity is stunted by the mode. So, is their understanding of how machines evolve from human needs, and of how non science related issues affect the evolution. A new teaching approach which attempts to align student thinking and learning activities with what exists in industrial MED is suggested. In this approach, human needs drive engineering problem formulation, which in turn, precipitates a synthesis of machines, mechanisms and constituent elements to satisfy the needs in a regulated environment. The regulation obeys laws of science but is mostly, ‘Humanities’—constrained. Creativity and innovation case studies are given, and it is shown how new machines can come into existence in the course of learning MED. This would be difficult in the current delivery mode. The new mode, of synthesis followed by iterative analysis, helps students build self-confidence and prepares them better for industry.
Part of the book: New Innovations in Engineering Education and Naval Engineering