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Cross-Cultural Learning Motivations for Engineering Students

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 2

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Inna Mikhailovna Gorodetskaya Kazan National Research Technological University

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Inna M. Gorodetskaya is associate professor at the Department of Engineering Education and Psychology of the Kazan National Research Technological University (Russia). She has Ph.D. in Social Psychology and also works as head of the minor degree program in Psychology at the university. Scientific interests: motivation, value system of a person, self-development, diversity issues.

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Pablo Moreno Romani Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología UTEC

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Extensive experience in the field of engineering higher education leading 32 accreditations processes in engineering and technology worldwide. Responsible for the experiential training program in engineering. Researcher on the impact of the engineering education in students, faculty and companies. Conducts quality office and educational innovation at UTEC. Coordinating the design of curricula, academic performance; international call for engineering specialists to cover teaching positions. English proficiency and advanced German.

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Phillip Albert Sanger Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Sanger is a professor in the School of Engineering Technology in the College of Technology of Purdue University. His focus and passion is real world, industry based, senior capstone experiences both domestically and internationally. He has successfully developed this area at Purdue and at Western Carolina University. Prior to his career in academia, Dr. Sanger had a successful 30 year career working in and with industry managing and participating in broad range technology development and commercialization.

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Motivation is one of the core components of educational learning and it greatly influences the efficiency of the training process. More than that, many researchers (K.D.Ushinsky, E.P.Ilyin, Black, Deci, Duckworth, Sternberg, etc) consider motivation to be no less than, or even more important, for personal development and professional success than cognitive capabilities. Engineering training is a complex poly-motivated process. Motivation is a crosscutting element of personality, i.e. it reflects the level of identity, group characteristics and specifics of the learning situation. Motivation acts as a link between a person and their social and historic context. Thus learning motivation is influenced not only by peculiarities of engineering pedagogy, but also by the students’ mentality, culture and value system. This influence is especially important for international students as different cultures develop various learning strategies and values that form the basis of motivation to acquire an engineering degree. Learning motivation includes direct motives (intrinsic factors, deriving from the learning activity itself) and indirect motives (external motivation that influences the educational process in a roundabout way). Although many intrinsic and external motivational factors are universal and cross culture boundaries, significant peculiarities occur in their hierarchy and have inter-correlation. The paper focuses on learning motivation of engineering students in the cross-cultural context—focusing not on why young people study, but to what extent their motivation is conditioned by their culture and social environment. The approach has been to conduct surveys using well established survey instruments measuring motivation in three cultures: mid-west American, South American (Peru) and central Russian (Tartarstan). The trend is interesting: the U.S. American student focuses on getting a job and career, the south American student is motivated by improving the living conditions of their village and the Russian student is motivated in part of finding an appropriate living partner particularly for females. Correlation analysis revealed additional subconscious and hidden groups of motives and backbone motivational blocks for each group.

Gorodetskaya, I. M., & Romani, P. M., & Sanger, P. A. (2016, June), Cross-Cultural Learning Motivations for Engineering Students Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26606

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