Adriano J. Garcia, Tarso B. Mazzotti


Many engineering courses are disproportionately focused on the rigorous reasoning inherent in math, while professional practice requires further skills and competencies. Improving the effectiveness of teaching-learning processes in engineering requires a change in the instructional approach, a switch from exposition to argumentation. Research about the application of argumentation in the instruction of mathematics, science and related disciplines indicates that the articulation of reasons and theories through argumentative interventions stimulates the development of the reasoning agility that is required to justify, explain, respond and eliminate contradictions. By connecting these results to engineering education we
conclude that an educational process based in argumentation potentially provides the opportunity for students to build much needed professional competencies because it enables critical thinking, empowers decision
making among multiple possible solutions, and provides opportunities of presenting plausible justifications for chosen solutions.

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