Stimulating Conscious Development  

Mechanism for Movement in Engineering Education


Dr. Rosalie van Baest


Abstract research


The research is in line with a vision in our society that regards learning as a lifelong process that is not limited to education, it is an ongoing process in which a person is able to direct his own learning. Reflection and awareness are basic conditions in this process. The emphasis is on an intra-personal approach.


The practical, exploratory and participatory research takes place in the context of Higher Engineering education which is often cognitive and practical oriented. Affective education is of significance in a process of conscious personal development. Self-reporting provides an insight into the subjective experience of students. The nature of exploratory research is that no strictly predetermined route can be followed by the researcher. Coming to conscious personal development is not a self-evident process. The following key question has therefore been formulated: “How” can one stimulate Higher Engineering students to open up for conscious intra-personal development?”.


The research resulted in the formulation of the S.C.D. model (Stimulating Conscious Development). (In Dutch: B.O.S. model). The S.C.D. model consists of two parts. The Preliminary research; a field experiment: the SCS module (Social and Communicative Skills), an experiential, student-centered lecture series. The objective of the SCS module is to stimulate Higher Engineering students to open up for conscious personal development. Gaining insight into interpersonal relationships is also of importance in the SCS module, related to effective teamwork.


During the SCS process the Research terms (Keywords and Core Values) were set down. They are the basic assumptions for the second part; a case study: a small-scale, in –depth study which includes three interviews, each time with ten Higher Engineering students, spread over a longer educational period. The case study focuses on the perspective of the research students, who participated voluntary and outside school hours in a positive way, in the research.


Handling the method of approach of the S.C.D. model offers a possibility to stimulate Higher Engineering students to open up for personal development.