In this theory-driven work in progress, we: 1) provide the history and justification for a Body of Knowledge (BOK) in the context of technician education and professionalization; Wenger (1998), among others; 2) detail our method for creating an advanced manufacturing (AM) BOK; and 3) share subsequent steps to vet and validate the AM BOK with the AM community. We conclude with an examination of a BOK’s potential impacts on and contributions to AM’s dynamic evolution and maturation as a technical field. The imperative for this paper is that technical fields like engineering technology and information technology have developed BOKs to guide their practitioners, employers, educators, and researchers to a common set of material understandings. These understandings establish social norms and cultural expectations for a professional field. AM also encompasses specific knowledge, skills, and dispositions, yet currently has no prevailing BOK. As one of the fastest growing technician fields, AM education and professional identity construction requires an articulation of what it means to practice AM and how AM practitioners enact the field’s competencies. Because BOKs are also valuable to guide curriculum, employer expectations, and professional advancement, we explored ways to create an AM BOK and assembled an initial BOK that we are currently testing through research and community engagement. This project is part of NSF ATE grant 1700581.
Marcia A. Mardis is a Professor and Associate Dean at Florida State University's College of Communication & Information and Associate Director of the Information Institute. Author of numerous publication and recipient of over two decades of federally funded research grants, Dr. Mardis' work focuses on professional identity creation, educational text and data mining, and technician education improvement.
Faye R. Jones is a Senior Research Associate at Florida State University’s College of Communication & Information. Her research interests include STEM student outcomes and the exploration of student pathways through institutional research.
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