July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Equity and Culture & Social Justice in Education
Engineering has been a field characterized by a hegemonically depoliticized and meritocratic culture. This has contributed to the demographics of engineering skewing wealthier, whiter, and more male. There is a need for theories of change within engineering and engineering education capable of shifting this engineering culture. In this paper, we draw on theories from within and outside of engineering education, including a Freirian critical consciousness model, to construct a liberatory engineering education model connecting theories of change to educational learning and assessment methods. This model is then applied to the context of engineering and labor.
Drawing on the history of labor organizing, in which labor unions have been a vehicle for workers to engage in social mobility and address injustices, we develop an engineering and labor theory of change to describe the potential of labor organizing to create shifts in engineering and engineering educational settings. This theory of change runs counter to the hegemonic technocratic theory of change present in engineering, which has historically limited engineers’ engagement with labor organizing. The resulting liberatory engineering education model connects this theory of change to labor organizing methodologies and a learning method of Bargaining for the Common Good, recognizing that engineers can be community organizers and that labor strikes can be a form of liberatory pedagogy. We also discuss the overlap of skills, tools, and practices from labor organizing with engineering education research methodologies, learning methods, and assessment methods in addition to potential limitations of this theory of change. In doing so, potentials for scholarship, concientização, and praxis via labor organizing in engineering are elucidated in order to provide direction toward liberation.
Valle, J., & Bowen, C. L., & Riley, D. M. (2021, July), Liberatory Potential of Labor Organizing in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37459
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