Asee peer logo

Gender and Engineering: Using Photo Elicitation as a Method of Inquiry

Download Paper |

Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Professional Identity

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

22.738.1 - 22.738.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18019

Download Count

22

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Katherine M. Morley

visit author page

Katherine is an undergraduate student in Aeronautical Engineering at Purdue University. As a member of the Society of Women in Engineering, and a participant in the Women in Engineering Program at Purdue University, she took interest in feminist engineering research. She is particularly interested to learn how engineering is conceptualized and gendered.

visit author page

biography

Alice L. Pawley Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0001-9117-4855

visit author page

Dr. Alice L. Pawley is an assistant professor in the School of Engineering Education and an affiliate faculty member in the Women’s Studies Program at Purdue University. She has a B.Eng. in Chemical Engineering from McGill University, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering with a Ph.D. minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is Co-PI and Research Director of Purdue University’s ADVANCE program, and PI on the Assessing Sustainability Knowledge project. She runs the Research in Feminist Engineering (RIFE) group, whose projects are described at the group's website, http://feministengineering.org/. She is interested in creating new models for thinking about gender and race in the context of engineering education. She was recently awarded a CAREER grant for the project, "Learning from Small Numbers: Using personal narratives by underrepresented undergraduate students to promote institutional change in engineering education."

visit author page

biography

Shawn S. Jordan Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1639-779X

visit author page

Shawn Jordan is an Assistant Professor in the College of Technology and Innovation at Arizona State University. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Education and M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University. His research interests include virtual cross-disciplinary engineering design teams in industry and pre-college engineering design pedagogy.

visit author page

biography

Robin Adams Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Robin S. Adams is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She led the Institute for Scholarship on Engineering Education (ISEE) as part of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE). Dr. Adams received her Ph.D. in Education, Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington, an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Washington, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Dr. Adams’ research is concentrated in four interconnecting areas: cross-disciplinary thinking, acting, and being; design cognition and learning; views on the nature of engineering knowledge; and theories of change in linking engineering education research and practice.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Gender and Engineering: Using Photo Elicitation as a Method of Inquiry  In this paper, I explore the application of photo elicitation as a method of understanding andchanging the perceptions of engineering held by professors and undergraduate students ofvarying disciplines, including engineering and technology. The research questions I address inthis paper include: (1) how is engineering conceptualized by undergraduate students andprofessors? (2) using photo elicitation, how are these concepts and perceptions gendered? and (3)how can photo elicitation be used as a pedagogical tool to change engineering epistemologies?The data set comprises a series of interviews including two individual interviews and one groupinterview. The study includes 15 participants comprised of nine women and six men. Five of theparticipants were in a multidisciplinary service-learning engineering design program inengineering and health sciences. Four of the participants were in a similar program or atechnology major. Three of the participants were majoring in technology. In the first phase of ourstudy we asked participants to gather photos that answer the question, “What is engineering toyou?” Each person then participated in a one-on-one interview explaining five of the photosthey brought. Then, we coordinated a group interview in which participants were asked to sharetheir opinions and thoughts about engineering using the photos as a way to initiate theconversation. Participants were invited to explain their chosen photos to the people in the group.We then conducted a final interview with each person individually to explore how eachparticipant’s views or thoughts may have altered or developed after having discussed the photosin the group.For our theoretical and methodological frameworks, we used a combination of grounded theorywith Shaffer and Svarovsky’s epistemic framework. In addition, we coded for outcome,relationships with others, and ways of thinking and doing. Results were analyzed for hegemonicgender markers and put into a broader engineering epistemological context. Results were alsointerpreted based on how the participants conceptualized and gender their perceptions. Initialfindings have suggested that most professors and students have both similar and unique ways ofdefining engineering, and many included themes of teamwork and problem solving.

Morley, K. M., & Pawley, A. L., & Jordan, S. S., & Adams, R. (2011, June), Gender and Engineering: Using Photo Elicitation as a Method of Inquiry Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18019

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: © 2011 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