Looking beyond content: Skill development for engineers

Edward F. Redish, Karl A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Current concerns over reforming engineering education have focused attention on helping students develop skills and an adaptive expertise. Phenomenological guidelines for instruction along these lines can be understood as arising out of an emerging theory of thinking and learning built on results in the neural, cognitive, and behavioral sciences. We outline this framework and consider some of its implications, such as developing a more detailed understanding of the specific skill of using mathematics in modeling physical situations. This approach provides theoretical underpinnings for some best-practice instructional methods designed to help students develop this skill and provides guidance for further research in the area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-307
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Engineering Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Adaptive expertise
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Problem solving


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