טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentKoral-Kordova Sigal
SubjectThe T Shape Dilemma (Depth against Width) in Education of
Industrial Engineering and Management and its
Reflection in the Students Team Project
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisors Professor Shlomo Waks
Professor Mordechai Frank
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

Within the framework of reform in the high school education system, the curriculum in industrial engineering and management was revised. An integral part of the new industrial engineering and management curriculum includes gaining practical project in a manufacturing plant or a service organization.

Within the framework of this study, senior high school and college students that executed final projects in Project-Based Learning environment were examined. The study aimed at assessing the subjects' interest for dealing with problems required engineering systems thinking prior to and after conducting the projects. 

In addition, the thesis presents an in-depth discussion about the T Shape Dilemma (depth versus width) in teaching industrial engineering and management and its implications on conducting a final project in this subject.

The research tools included: a questionnaire for assessing students’ interest for engineering systems thinking, a survey of graduates, semi-structured interviews with teachers/instructors, pupils/students, senior managers and academic leaders, as well as observations of the work process in conducting the project.

 The study participants were 194 graduates, nine senior managers in industry, seven academic leaders in the field of industrial engineering and management, 42 senior college students and 111 senior high school pupils from all over the country studying industrial engineering and management.

From a preliminary analysis, the Project-Based Learning environment was found to have many advantages, including coping with a real non-theoretical problem, learning based on building more effective knowledge compared to traditional learning, fostering motivation to learn, and more.

In analyzing the questionnaire for assessing pupils’/students’ interest for engineering systems thinking, it was found that it clearly discerned between the interest for engineering systems thinking of students and that of high school pupils. From the study findings, we can conclude that the final project contributed to the development of engineering systems thinking among the students.

Following a discussion on the subject of the T Shape Dilemma, it was found in this study that the industrial engineering and management curriculum must combine theoretical-conceptual knowledge with practical-experience knowledge, but the question as to the amount of each type of knowledge is controversial.

A theoretical contribution to the research community could be in presenting processes in which engineering systems thinking is acquired while conducting the final project.

From a practical point of view, this study explored several characteristics of successful industrial engineering and management graduates, and these characteristics may serve as a basis for designing an industrial engineering and management curriculum.