Human Factors and Education: Evolution and Contributions


Objective: The major contributions of human factors to education are highlighted. Background: over the past 50 years, the education of human factors specialists has evolved, as well as the application of human factors and ergonomic knowledge to education. Method: Human factors and ergonomics professional documentation and literature were reviewed to identify major events relevant to human factors education or the application of human factors to education. Results: Human factors education has evolved from training in experimental psychology to highly specialized accredited human factors programs and a number of undergraduate programs, leading to program accreditation and the certification of professionals. in addition, human factors specialists have applied their knowledge to human factors education and, more recently, to educational systems in general. the greatest focus has been on technology such as multimedia. Others have evaluated the design of the physical environment, focusing primarily on seating. the research also often targets undergraduate or graduate education. Therefore, it has been proposed that a greater focus is needed at the K-12 educational level, especially given the advancement and implementation of technology in the classroom. Conclusion: Human factors and ergonomic expertise can benefit the educational system. Yet, there is a need to constantly evaluate the benefits of new technology in the classroom as well as the environmental design aspects of the educational environment while considering learners of different age groups, ethnicities, and sexes. Application: Better application of human factors and ergonomics to the learning environment could enhance the educational experience for all learners.


Psychological Science

Keywords and Phrases

Age Groups; Educational Environments; Educational Experiences; Educational Systems; Environmental Designs; Evolution (Co); Graduate Education; Human Factors; Human Factors And Ergonomics (Hfe); Learning Environments; Major Events; New Technologies; Physical Environments; Program Accreditation; Undergraduate (Ug); Undergraduate Programs; Accreditation; Education; Ergonomics; Industrial Engineering; School Buildings; Technology; Human Engineering; Accreditation; Certification; Education; Ergonomics; Human; Human Factors Research; Psychology; Review; Training; Education; Human Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2008 SAGE Publications, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2008