Asee peer logo

Cultural Dimensions in Academic Disciplines, a Comparison Between Ecuador and the United States of America

Download Paper |

Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

International

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

14

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36886

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36886

Download Count

296

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Homero Murzi Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3849-2947

visit author page

Homero Murzi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech with honorary appointments at the University of Queensland (Australia) and University of Los Andes (Venezuela). He holds degrees in Industrial Engineering (BS, MS), Master of Business Administration (MBA) and in Engineering Education (PhD). Homero has 15 years of international experience working in industry and academia. His research focuses on contemporary and inclusive pedagogical practices, industry-driven competency development in engineering, and understanding the experiences of Latinx and Native Americans in engineering from an asset-based perspective. Homero has been recognized as a Diggs Teaching Scholar, a Graduate Academy for Teaching Excellence Fellow, a Diversity Scholar, a Fulbright Scholar, and was inducted in the Bouchet Honor Society.

visit author page

biography

Bianey Cristina Ruiz Ulloa National University of Tachira

visit author page

Currently works as Organizational Development and Human Talent Manager at a medium size corporation and as a Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Tachira – Venezuela.
She received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska –Lincoln in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering. She holds a M.S. degree in Industrial and Management Systems Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a M.B.A. and B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the National University of Tachira – Venezuela. Her research interests are teamwork, quality management systems, and organizational development. She worked for nine years in the manufacturing and service industry as an Industrial Engineer prior to her academic career.

visit author page

author page

Francisco Gamboa Universidad del Táchira

biography

Johnny C. Woods Jr. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5430-9327

visit author page

Johnny C. Woods, Jr. is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Higher Education and Research Group Coordinator for the Engineering Competencies, Learning, and Inclusive Practices for Success (ECLIPS) Lab in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Johnny is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Graduate School Certificate Course--Preparing the Future Professoriate. He has a Master in Educational Foundations and Management and a Bachelor in Sociology. His dissertation research focuses on employing assets-based frameworks to explore the lived experiences of foreign-born Black students in the STEM fields at PWIs, specifically Black Sub-Saharan African-born graduate students.

visit author page

biography

MiguelAndres Guerra P.E. Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ

visit author page

MiguelAndrés is an Assistant Professor in the Polytechnic College of Science and Engineering at Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from USFQ, an M.Sc. in Construction Engineering and Project Management from Iowa State University as a Fulbright Scholar, a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, and two Graduate Certificates from Virginia Tech in Engineering Education and Future Professoriate. MiguelAndrés's research includes sustainable infrastructure design and planning, smart and resilient cities, and the development of engineers who not only have strong technical and practical knowledge but the social awareness and agency to address global humanitarian, environmental, and social justice challenges. For him, social justice is a concept that should always be involved in discussions on infrastructure. Related to STEM education, Miguel Andrés is in developing and applying contemporary pedagogies for STEM courses, teaching empathy studies in engineering as a tool for innovation, and assessing engineering students' agency to address climate change. Currently, MiguelAndrés is validating his framework of a Blended & Flexible Learning approach that focusses on STEM courses and its practical adaptation to overcome barriers brought up by the COVID-19 pandemic.

visit author page

author page

Karen Dinora Martinez Soto

author page

Reema Helen Azar Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2469-1646

Download Paper |

Abstract

The engineering profession requires to adapt to contribute effectively to the complexities of the problems we face in society. Part of the problem is that the field has been characterized by having a lack of diverse perspectives. Broadening participation in engineering has been part of the engineering education research agenda for years. We argue that if we can understand the traits of the different dimensions of culture in engineering, we can identify potential solutions to broaden participation. For example, understanding if the national culture is predominant over the engineering culture can help us understand if change should be promoted as the disciplinary culture level or at a broader level. Hence, understanding the differences in disciplinary culture in engineering in different countries is important. In this study, we are comparing how students from Ecuador and the United States perceive their engineering disciplinary culture. Specifically, we are using Sharma (2010) instrument, developed to measure constructs associated with culture. Sharma’s work was based on Hofstede’s theory of dimensions of national cultures (power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity) (Hofstede, 2003), a very well-known theory used to measure culture in different contexts around the world. 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 aspects of the discipline and making comparisons between two countries that are culturally very different, will be valuable to get an initial understanding of students’ perceptions. Data were collected with engineering students at major polytechnic universities in Ecuador and the United States. The survey was translated into Spanish for the Ecuadorian data and was reviewed by several native Spanish speakers. We piloted the survey with several students. The survey was administered online. Results provide preliminary information on how students perceive aspects of culture like uncertainty avoidance, individualism, power distance, and masculinity. We discuss the relationship of these constructs with aspects of the engineering program. Implications for research and practice are provided.

Murzi, H., & Ruiz Ulloa, B. C., & Gamboa, F., & Woods, J. C., & Guerra, M., & Martinez Soto, K. D., & Azar, R. H. (2021, July), Cultural Dimensions in Academic Disciplines, a Comparison Between Ecuador and the United States of America Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36886

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015