After participating in the class discussion and reading the article on Mindful learning by Ellen Langer, it is clear that Mindful learning is actively engaging in the learning process by paying attention at the present and noticing new perspectives, and being sensitive to contexts. Here I will discuss how mindful learning helps engineers to participate in their professional work.
Engineers of the 21st century, along with learning to design engineering solutions, should also be able to understand how to translate their design to real-life products meeting the different criteria and constraints. These requirements include the business ( or economic including marketing, budget, cost-effectiveness), social impact (impact on people and environment), policies and ethical considerations of the product, which are the boundary conditions for the possible range of solutions. This shows that engineering solutions differ by various contexts and this variation in much more when the context is international.
This implies that engineers not only needs to learn facts but should engage to apply knowledge in real-life contexts. Whereas, in contrast, many traditional engineering classrooms, do not engage students in their learning process and thus the students passively learn facts and understand steps that they follow to solve problems. Then students can repeat similar steps to solve similar book problems, which often lack the real-life context. When these engineers are given a real-world open ended problem in their professional, they often find it challenging as the typical steps they learned might not answer the question in this context. They might have to think mindfully and creatively to understand how to solve the problem by integrating several knowledge that they have learned.
This indicates that modern engineering classrooms, should engaged students so that they mindfully learn the basics and then apply this learning to solve real-life problems with various level of difficulty. This can be done by engaging students to answer questions that need critical thinking, to solve real-world problems or to analyze real-life case studies. These help students to practice facing professional challenges early on. The habit of mindful learning, where they use their brain to process information in various contexts, and find creative solutions will ultimately help them in to succeed in their career.
What is your comment on this perspective?