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Epistemological Foundations of Global Competencies: A New Theory to Advance Research on Global Competencies

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 5

Tagged Division

International

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

26.680.1 - 26.680.10

DOI

10.18260/p.24017

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24017

Download Count

120

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Paper Authors

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Kacey D Beddoes Oregon State University

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Kacey Beddoes is a Research Associate in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. She received her PhD in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech, along with graduate certificates in Women’s and Gender Studies and Engineering Education. She serves as Managing Editor of Engineering Studies and Assistant Editor of the Global Engineering Series at Morgan & Claypool Publishers. Her current research interests include gender in engineering education research, interdisciplinarity, peer review, engineers’ epistemologies, and global engineering education.

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Devlin Montfort Oregon State University

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Shane A. Brown P.E. Oregon State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3669-8407

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Shane Brown is an associate professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. His research interests include conceptual change and situated cognition. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2010 and is working on a study to characterize practicing engineers’ understandings of core engineering concepts.

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Abstract

Epistemological Foundations of Global CompetenciesHistorians and sociologists of engineering have shown that engineering has been – and continuesto be – practiced differently across different countries. Indeed one definition of “globalcompetency” for engineers is the “ability to work with those who define and solve problemsdifferently.” Thus, it is not only cultures that differ, but also engineering content and practicesthat differ across time and space. Global competency therefore requires understanding thatengineers in other countries have different knowledge, which in turn requires an epistemologythat accommodates sophisticated knowledge beliefs. Epistemologies also vary with nationalcultures, and part of being able to understand one’s own knowledge is understanding that othershave different epistemological beliefs.The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that personal epistemologies, which are an underexploredfacet of global competencies, may be useful in understanding and predicting global worksuccesses or readiness. One central goal is to introduce the concept of personal epistemology,which is not yet commonly engaged in engineering education. We begin by summarizingattempts to define or operationalize global competency, we then give an overview of the conceptof personal epistemology and identify relationships between global competency and personalepistemology. Following that we describe our study design before presenting preliminaryfindings on how our personal epistemology research is related to global competency. The paperconcludes by explaining how our work addresses limitations of current scholarship on globalcompetency and describing our future work.To accomplish the aims of this paper, we present findings that emerged from an existing in-depthdataset on the development of students’ and engineers’ personal epistemologies. Data for thispaper come from qualitative interviews with engineering students and practicing engineers fromthe United States. When the study began in 2011, participants were civil engineering students intheir sophomore year and civil engineering graduates beginning new jobs. Interviews focused ondevelopment of personal epistemologies from the sophomore year of college through the secondyear of engineering practice.We identified three ways in which the construct of personal epistemology is related to globalcompetency, as well as three avenues for future research that can provide empirical,theoretically-grounded findings on attributes and experiences related to global technical work.Understanding engineers’ personal epistemologies could provide new insight into how toimprove and prepare for international work experiences.This paper suggests that personal epistemologies, which are an underexplored facet of globalcompetencies, may be useful in understanding and predicting global work successes or readinessin several ways. Personal epistemologies are a foundational way to approach global competencyand could provide new insights into challenges experienced with developing globalcompetencies.  

Beddoes, K. D., & Montfort, D., & Brown, S. A. (2015, June), Epistemological Foundations of Global Competencies: A New Theory to Advance Research on Global Competencies Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24017

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: © 2015 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