June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Minorities in Engineering
26.369.1 - 26.369.15
Dimensions of Disciplinary Culture to Enhance Innovation and Retention among Engineering Students Despite the need for engineers that are innovative and able to collaboratively work in interdisciplinary teams, the engineering education field has been slow promoting effective pedagogies that develop those skills in engineering students. In addition, engineering schools are still struggling with the attraction and retention of underrepresented students, whose diversity can contribute to the development of creativity and collaboration. The lack of diversity can be attributed to the disciplinary culture of engineering that for so many years has been not welcoming enough for those groups. We are investigating patterns of cultural traits, to build pedagogies of inclusive and collaborative innovation as well as strategies for recruiting and retention efforts. Specifically, we are applying Hofstede’s theory of dimensions of national business cultures (power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity) (Hofstede, 2003) to academic disciplines to explain how students develop skills to operate within and across disciplinary boundaries. We are comparing two engineering majors at a research focused public university with several contrasting disciplines, based on the Disciplinary Grouping suggested by Nulty, 1996. Preliminary data was collected during the Fall semester 2013 using a version of Hofstede’s survey in every major at a research focused University. Results did not show significant differences between the majors. Therefore, after improving the survey, we are planning to focus on 12 majors (based on Nulty 1996) in order to answer the following research questions: (i) How do Hofstede’s dimensions of national cultures map to academic disciplines? (ii) What are the relationships between the dimensions of culture and a) student choice of major, and b) student success with a major? While Hofstede’s theory is correlational rather than causal, we argue that a better understanding of disciplinary culture from the perspective of characteristics aligned with innovation will help identify needed interventions and shape pedagogical practices that effectively enhance innovation skills for engineering students. Results will help understand how aspects of engineering culture compare to other disciplines in the same institution.
Murzi, H., & Martin, T., & McNair, L. D., & Paretti, M. C. (2015, June), Comparative Dimensions of Disciplinary Culture Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23708
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