Stirring up Engineers’ Systems Intelligence: A Case Study of Life-Philosophical Pedagogy


  • Pia Helena Lappalainen Aalto University



Systems intelligence, life-philosophical pedagogy, socio-emotive skilling


In their role as problem solvers, engineers are expected to take responsibility for the grand societal challenges that require technical expertise and innovation. This urges them to broaden their horizon from the traditional, deeply technological world view to one that examines the surrounding globe with empathy and social responsibility. Such a call for systems intelligence necessitates a novel approach to engineering education to allow students to practice systemic capabilities. As methodology, life-philosophical pedagogy was experimented with in an English language course that was integrated with the Philosophy and Systems Thinking lecture series. Such pedagogy deviates from conventional methodology in that instead of focusing on correcting deficiencies and filling competence gaps, it takes a midwife approach and recognizes the potential in individuals and delivers the abundance in them. The principles of positive psychology and frameworks of socio-emotive intelligence guide the reflective workout in the course, catalyzing, stimulating and rooting new thinking. Ultimately the course promotes self-growth, intentional change and overall life management, while allowing students to rehearse various interpersonal skills relevant for industrial tasks.

Author Biography

Pia Helena Lappalainen, Aalto University

Lecturer at Aalto UniversityResearcher at Lappeenranta University of Technology




How to Cite

Lappalainen, P. H. (2017). Stirring up Engineers’ Systems Intelligence: A Case Study of Life-Philosophical Pedagogy. International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP), 7(3), pp. 61–72.