June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Educational Research and Methods
In this Research Paper, we describe Advancing Cultural Change (ACC), an action-oriented research initiative that engages undergraduates in ethnographic research to explore university culture and the lived experiences of its community members. Despite continued efforts to broaden participation in engineering programs across the country, there remains significant underrepresentation of racial minorities and women in these fields. This lack of diversity within engineering is due, in part, to exclusionary behaviors, such as bias and discrimination, that pervade the cultures of engineering. Drawing on critical theories including intersectionality, cultural capital, and critical methodologies in anthropology, ACC is aimed at making the experiences of underrepresented groups visible while strategizing collectively on ways to reduce cultural biases and to foster a more inclusive campus, specifically in engineering fields. We present preliminary data from a novel method developed during ACC research. The method, called Articulating a Succinct Description, uses ethnographic data to create case study interventions facilitated with undergraduate students to disseminate research findings; address problems presented in the case; and collect more data for further analysis. Emerging findings show how bias and discrimination shape the culture of engineering and how discussions around these incidents vary depending on the demographic makeup of the facilitation groups (race, gender, and major field of study). Preliminary analysis of data raises two critical questions: (1) how do students engage differently with case studies about racial and gender bias in homogenous and diverse group settings? and (2) how can the Articulating a Succinct Description method promote allyship and cultural change within engineering? We suggest that this innovative qualitative method, which serves both as a means of intervention and a means of inquiry, can provide underrepresented engineering students opportunities for their voices to be heard and to gain support from their peers. Further, it engages majority (white, male) students in efforts to create more inclusive cultures in engineering.
Liptow, E. E., & Bardini, M. H., & Krigel, N. R., & Singer, M. L., & Carrigan, C. (2017, June), Engaging Engineers in Inclusive Cultural Change Through a New Method, Articulating a Succinct Description Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28244
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