June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
26.329.1 - 26.329.19
CAREER: Engineering Design Across Navajo Culture, Community, and Society With the complex nature of real-world problems, our country needs diverse perspectives inSTEM in order to drive innovation and create culturally-relevant solutions. Advanced STEMeducation could play an important role in providing career pathways for Native Americanstudents and strengthening community.The mission of this research is to develop a theory of culturally-contextualized engineeringdesign curricula and assessment tools for Navajo middle school students, grounded in a study ofhow Navajo students and Navajo professionals experience, understand, and apply engineeringdesign in the context of their culture, community, and society. This foundation will supportfuture educational innovations and illuminate pathways for Navajo students to pursue highereducation and careers in STEM. Through integrated research and education methods, this studyseeks to: (1) qualitatively study to explore the ways in which Navajo students and Navajoprofessionals experience and understand engineering design in the context of their culture,community, and society; (2) conduct a design-based research study on the development ofculturally-contextualized theory of learning and curriculum modules that will be piloted inseveral schools in the Navajo Nation; and (3) create and pilot tools to evaluate Navajo students’experience of engineering design in the context of Navajo culture.Under the theoretical frameworks of social constructivism (Vygotsky, 1978) and culturallyrelevant pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1995), this study uses a phenomenographic approach(Marton, 1981) to explore the ways that Navajo students and Navajo professionals experienceengineering design in the context of their culture, and a design-based research approach (Brown,1992; Collins, 1992) to apply the results from the phenomenography in the iterative developmentof culturally-contextualized engineering curricula. The primary research questions are: (RQ1)What are the ways in which Navajo students and Navajo professionals experience, understand,and apply engineering design in the context of their culture, community, and society? and (RQ2)How do culturally-contextualized curricula affect the experience and understanding ofengineering design, sense of cultural identity, and cultural attitudes of Navajo students?For (RQ1), 32 Navajo middle and high school students, Navajo undergraduate students, Navajoprofessors, and Navajo professionals with exposure to engineering design sampled purposefullyand stratified by where they grew up and work (e.g., on/off reservation). Transcripts from semi-structured interviews are being analyzed through a phenomenographic lens, to result in anoutcome space describing how participants experience engineering design in Navajo culture. For(RQ2), the results from (RQ1) above will inform a 250-participant design-based research studyto develop a theory of culturally-contextualized curricula to advance student learning anddevelop, pilot, and assess culturally-contextualized curriculum modules for 6th, 7th, and 8thgraders. The results of this study will provide critical insight into how to engage students fromunderrepresented groups in engineering design in a way complementary to their cultures. It willalso illuminate pathways for students from underrepresented groups to pursue higher educationand careers in STEM fields.
Jordan, S. S. (2015, June), CAREER: Engineering Design Across Navajo Culture, Community, and Society Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23668
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