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Reader's Roadmap to Teaching Engineering

This book is organized to start with specific, practical teaching applications and then lead to more general psychological theories. The advantage of this order is that people tend to learn from specifics to generalities—that is, inductively. The disadvantage of this approach is that we may want to use some concepts to explain the advantages of particular teaching methods before the concepts have been explored. To aid the reader in the resolution of this problem we have attached a short glossary to this section.

An alternate arrangement is to use a deductive approach and start with the theories. The deductive approach has the advantage of logically explaining everything first, but this is not the way most people learn. Certainly, readers who prefer a deductive approach can read the book in a logical order. For a deductive approach read Chapters 1, 13 to 15, 2 to 12, 16, and 17.

The third order is to skip around to whatever topic is of interest. Most of the chapters are essentially independent, although Chapter 15 depends heavily on Chapter 14 and both depend somewhat on Chapter 13.


auditory mode: perceiving the world by talking, reading, and listening (Section15.2.2).

concrete operational thinker: person who is unable to do abstract thinking (14.1.1).

deductive reasoning: deduction of specific consequences from general principles (15.2.1).

feeling type: bases decisions on subjective criteria (13.1).

field-independent type: pays little attention to surroundings while focused on a task (15.2.1).

field-sensitive type: pays attention to surroundings, particularly other people, while working on a task (15.2.1).

formal operational thinker: person who is able to do abstract thinking (14.1.1).

global learner: prefers to see big picture and fill in missing pieces (15.2.1).

inductive reasoning: starting with specifics and inducing generalities (15.2.1).

intuitive type: prefers to perceive the world based on intuition (13.1).

judging type: prefers to live in a planned, orderly fashion with control over events (13.1).

kinesthetic mode: perceiving the world through taste, touch, smell, and feelings (15.2.2).

learning cycles: a series of steps which increases learning (15.1 and 15.3).

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: a psychological instrument that characterizes people into sixteen different categories based on four dichotomies (13).

perceptive type: prefers to live in a spontaneous way and adapt to life as it occurs (13.1).

PSI: personalized system of instruction (7.4).

sensing type: prefers to perceive the visible, real, practical aspects of life (13.1).

sequential learner: prefers to learn in a logical sequence and build a knowledge structure piece by piece (15.2.1).

thinking type: prefers to make judgments objectively and impersonally (13.1).

visual mode: processing information in visual pictures (15.2.2).