Successful Education

Who are the readers?

  • All academic administrators and leaders
  • All teachers and academic instructors whose hearts are focused on bringing creativity into their student’s minds
  • All students who want to learn how to be creative
  • Professionals, scientists, scholars and all forward-thinking individuals who value creativity in education and in life

An Overview of the book
"Successful Education. How to Educate Creative Engineers

This book communicates five major points:

  1. We can restore the earlier glory and social position of our profession through the creation of a new educational system called “Successful Education” and a new kind of an engineering department called the “Successful Department.”
  2. Globalization of engineering is a fact and we have to rebuild our competitive advantage through the introduction of Successful Education, which will prepare our students not only to conduct routine work but will also encourage them to become inventors and leaders.
  3. Successful Education is based on the Theory of Successful Intelligence, including the assumption that all kinds of intelligence can be taught and learned.
  4. Successful Education should be developed using the Seven Principles of Leonardo da Vinci, which are based on the key factors that contributed to his own engineering creativity.
  5. The Successful Department should be organized using guidelines based on the creation of “Creative Environments” and the Medici Effect.

In summary, the Introduction provides a brief statement about the main premises of this book, including my concept of “Successful Education” based on Sternberg's Theory of Successful Intelligence. In it, I also present my personal dream and vision about the future of engineering education and its potentials.

Chapters One and Two fall under the heading Section One: Today


Section One: Today.

Chapter One

Chapter One outlines the current state of affairs of engineering and engineering education, describes specific Reasons for Action and introduces the idea of the Rational Department.  It describes how the money-focused priorities of today’s administrators lead to the gradual shrinking of education and, even more importantly, to its trivialization and marginalization.  It shows how and why engineers lost their leadership in society and how this relates to their diminished ability to be creative and produce inventions.  I relate these changes to a specific paradigm shift in engineering education from the master-apprentice to the scientific paradigm as well as other factors.  Chapter one explains the need to make changes and briefly discusses current calls for action. 

Chapter Two

Chapter Two introduces the concept of Systems Analysis and TRIZ and how these two theoretical disciplines can present a global vision of the evolution of engineering education and postulate about its future.

Section Two: Tomorrow

Chapters Three and Four fall under Section Two: Tomorrow and provide an overview of what engineering and engineering education could potentially look like in the future.  It also outlines concrete strategies for now to get there.

Chapter Tree

Chapter Three, “Conceptual Foundations,” explains Sternberg’s Theory of Successful Intelligence and introduces various relevant thinking styles.  It discusses da Vinci’s Seven Principles, which are considered the philosophical foundation for Renaissance-era science and engineering as well as for other discoveries and inventions.  This chapter also discusses the “Medici Effect” (Johansson 2004) and explains how a creativity explosion may be initiated by building appropriately-balanced communities of creators, scholars and artists.

Chapter Four

Finally, the concept of a “Creative Community” is introduced in Chapter Four within the context of creative class and region  (Florida 2002).  Renaissance inspiration is discussed on the level of a single person, (The da Vincian Principles, Gelb 1999), a community (The Medici Effect, Johansson 2004), and a region (Creative Community, Florida 2002). 

Chapter Four, “The Successful Department,” is a blueprint for redesigning engineering departments of the future.  It discusses the mission, goals, and assumptions behind such a department and contains a description of how to create a successful educational environment relating to instructors, physical environment and other factors.  The chapter also provides a number of qualitative measuring strategies that can be used to evaluate results within the Successful Department.

Section Three: Inspiration

Chapter Five

The fifth and final chapter of the book provides a historical context within which engineering education and the need for a new paradigm can be viewed.  During the last fifty years, so much has changed in engineering education that introducing this new paradigm requires not only a technical description of its structure and components but also a deep understanding of the historic, social, and cultural background of its evolution.  Particularly, one needs to become familiar with the important leaders and inventors of the Renaissance era, especially in terms of their personal and professional characteristics. 

Chapter Five also provides a discussion of what is known as a “Renaissance Man” (the term “Man” referring to all human beings).  By providing examples, one can see surprising similarities among the lives and attitudes of various Renaissance leaders.  Finally, the chapter offers a multi-perspective discussion of the da Vincian Principles in order to show their relevance to successful engineering education and provides recommendations of how the da Vincian Principles can be translated into action and used for educational purposes.

The Epilogue

The Epilogue proposes two extreme lines of evolution for engineering education.  These scenarios define the full spectrum of possibilities for the profession.