In this paper the authors draw on three sequential keynote addresses that they gave at Active Learning in Engineering Education (ALE) workshops in Copenhagen (2012), Caxias do Sol (2014) and San Sebastian (2015). Active Learning in Engineering Education is an informal international network of engineering educators dedicated to improving engineering education through active learning (http://www.ale-net.org/). The paper reiterates themes from those keynotes, namely, the philosophical and pedagogical underpinnings of Active Learning in Engineering Education, the scholarly questions that inspire engineering educators to go on improving their practice and exemplary models designed to activate the learning of engineering students. This paper aims to uncover the bedrock of established educational philosophies and theories that define and support active learning. The paper does not claim to present any new or innovative educational theory. There is already a surfeit of them. Rather, the aim is to assist Engineering Educators who wish to research how they can best activate the learning of their students by providing a readable, reasonable and solid underpinning for best practice in this field.
European Journal of Engineering Education / Vol. 42, No. 1, pp.5-16