Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Abstract and Biblio: Science and Engineering in Malta

Brig Bagley

ES 410

Abstract and Annotated Bibliography

10 Feb. 2011


Education in Malta for science and engineering has only recently developed into the state we see it today. With most of today’s scientists and engineers in Malta under the age of 35, we see that Malta has made many important changes in its approach to technology. The Malta Council for Science and Technology oversees the scientific advancements of the state, not quite dictating, but certainly directing what areas researchers and educational institutions. Historically, Malta has had many early engineering feats, primarily within the areas of architecture and defense (being a small country geographically located in a prime position in the Mediterranean). But only until recently has the country made a more radical shift in producing more scientists and engineers. Although technology is becoming a more popular profession, it still remains a minority, with business, law, humanities, art, and education remaining the dominant professions. Due to its resources, location, and history, Malta focuses on professions that can easily compete in the global economy (such as business and law) and uphold it as a valuable contributor to the world’s needs.

Annotated Bibliography

Mayo, Peter, Pace, Paul, and Zammit, Edward. (2008). “Adult education in small states: the case of Malta.” Comparative Education Vol. 44, No. 2., pp. 229-246. Routledge: Taylor and Francis Group.

This paper discusses how the small-scale dimensions of the state of Malta affect the types of education available for adults, as well as the methods of education used in the state. In order to best utilize its resources, Maltese educators often serve in multiple educational positions, covering many topics. Also an important part of the system is the focus on enabling public participation and global community. This information might be useful in determining how the education of scientists and engineers is affected. However, since this is education in general, there will likely not be much evidence supporting the proposed thesis.

UNESCO International Science, Technology, & Environmental. (2003) “Malta Council for Science and Technology.” Education Newsletter Vol. 28, Issue 3/4, pp 18-19.

The Malta Council for Science and Technology is a part of the Maltese government that oversees the science and technologies within the state. This short description describes the purposes and goals of the council. This will be very useful in pin pointing the state of education in science and engineering in Malta because it is likely that this council influences governmental decisions that affect the education system in these areas. The council probably encourages schools to focus on certain technologies and likely proposes funding for these particular areas. Unfortunately, this article is very short. There will only be a small amount of information to support my thesis.

“BP teams up with chemical and food giants on biofuels facility.” Professional Engineering. p 12. 28 June 2006.

Although this article is very short and does not address very much about Maltese education, there is one fact mentioned that I find particularly interesting and useful: “Malta has the youngest population of all, with more than half of its scientists and engineers aged 25 to 34.” This means that Malta has only recently started pushing for more scientists and engineers. With this information, I can now use some history of Malta to try to determine why this push happened, and why it was only recently.

Connect: UNESCO International Science, Technology & Environmental. (2000). “THE STATE OF SCIENCE EDUCATION IN MALTA.” Education Newsletter.Vol. 25 Issue 3/4, p15. EBESCOhost.

Another short article, UNESCO describes some of the direct influence of the Malta Council for Science and Technology on education for science and engineering. This will tie to the previously mentioned source that describes more in general the purpose of the council. The research project described in this synopsis is exactly the type of information I need to help me formulate reasons for the current state of education in Malta for science and engineering. Hopefully I will be able to track down references and sources that are related to this project.

Pollard, Justin. (2009). “The Eccentric Engineer.” Engineering and Technology. p. 18. 6-19 June 2009.

The author of this article explains that the earliest discovered evidence of engineering are in Malta. Because of this evidence, it is likely that the history of Malta’s science and engineering has taken a very different path from that of other countries around the world. Perhaps the recent jump to modern science and engineering was related to the country’s hesitance to deviate from traditional and long used methods of science and engineering. I would need to find evidence to support this claim, which might mean that this article doesn’t really help draw any conclusions.

Griffin, Joe, PhD., Ryan, Kevin. (2010). “Broadening the Education of Software Engineers – some lessons and pointers.” University of Limerick. IEEE.

Griffin and Ryan explain a method of collaboration between computer science students in a few different countries, including Malta. The methodologies correspond well with Global Engineering, as far as working with different cultures and understanding science and engineering from a more global perspective. Although the discussion of this article is relevant to the class and is lightly connected to Malta, it will probably not serve very well as a source in determining the state of Maltese education in the sciences and in engineering.

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