Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Diversity in the science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) is often based upon gender, race and ethnicity. Those demographic categories support a quantitative, “numbers game”, to fostering a diverse learning community. Literature shows that individuals who are attracted, selected, and retained in engineering, for example, express personality characteristics of introversion, intuition, thinking, and judging (INTJ) as defined by Myers-Briggs. Taken together it is logical to assume that while demographic diversity is a goal, the current model of attraction, selection and retention rewards individuals that conform to an INTJ personality. Thus, in one respect, while schools attempt to ‘diversify’ their learning communities, there is an assumption that the learners are a homogenous population, and thus can be served equally by traditional approaches to ethics education. This is problematic since students that are more extroverted or caring might not be supported by lectures that review ethics cases. However, there are few resources available that account for how students from different backgrounds and with different belief-structures and personality types might be taught STEM ethics. In light of this, our research pursues the questions: How can learner types for STEM students be redefined and how does that force instructors to redesign their pedagogical approaches for engaging diverse students? This research seeks to better understand the heterogeneity of STEM students and explore ways to redesign ethics modules in ways that allow students to thrive in the learning environment. This research draws upon surveys and student-writing samples from 272 students across four institutions, specifically Notre Dame, Xavier, St. Mary’s and University of Virginia. Our initial research demonstrates that there are is greater diversity of learner types in STEM classrooms, which extend far beyond those that exhibit INTJ characteristics. The initial results indicate that STEM students can be described more holistically when religion, duty-based guidelines (i.e. honor codes), care ethics, and other personality characteristics are recognized. This research implies that instructors need to critically rethink pedagogies for STEM ethics.
Foley, R. W., & Dennis, A., & Eggleson, K., & Sunda-Meya, A., & Haas, K. (2018, June), Board 88 : Learner Types: A Means to Expand the Definition of Diversity and to Redesign Ethics Modules Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30127
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