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Title: Learning how to be an engineer – Technical Teaching in Nineteenth Century Portugal
Authors: Diogo, Maria Paula
Matos, Ana Cardoso de
Keywords: Engenheiros
Ensino da Engenharia
Caminho de ferro
Ècole de Ponts et Chaussées
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: ICOHTEC
Citation: Maria Paula Diogo e Ana Cardoso de Matos, “Learning how to be an engineer – Technical Teaching in Nineteenth Century Portugal”, ICON, 6 (2000), pp. 67-75.
Abstract: The creation of a well-defined professional consciousness relies largely on its corpus of knowledge. Only those who receive a specific training are able to deal with the theoretical and practical questions of a specific professional field. Therefore schools play a decisive role in shaping the profile required for each profession. In Portugal the teaching of engineering remained until quite late within a military frame. This situation was strongly debated in the Cortes (the Parliament), in scientific societies, in professional associations and by the teachers themselves. The problem had to be understood by examining the Portuguese economy, still based on archaic structures, mainly agricultural. The close relationship between technical teaching, industry and modernity became, thus, a main issue during the nineteenth century. How to teach the Portuguese engineers? Which subjects should they learn? Should they be concerned mostly with theoretical questions or should they pay more attention to practical matters? Being a peripheral country Portugal soon realized that he had to choose between taking pattern from France or from England. Although the English engineer was the living symbol of a successful model, the architect of the most industrialised country, the Portuguese economy was far from resembling the English one. The weak Portuguese industry had no place for engineers. However they proved to be very useful when, by 1850, the Portuguese Government decided to build the railway. The Portuguese engineer became mainly a civil servant ranked by his academic training The French École des Ponts et Chaussées was its main reference. In this text we intend to analyse some of the issues concerning the Portuguese engineering teaching, mainly by discussing its methodological and epistemological references, the controversies that surround it and the European routes of some of our engineers
Type: article
Appears in Collections:HIS - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica
CIDEHUS - Publicações - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais Com Arbitragem Científica

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