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Reimagining Energy: Deconstructing Traditional Engineering Silos Using Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Communicating Across Cultural and Epistemological Boundaries

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30929

Download Count

55

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Paper Authors

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Gordon D. Hoople University of San Diego Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2663-4664

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Dr. Gordon D. Hoople is an assistant professor of general engineering at the University of San Diego. His research interests lie in microfluidics, rapid prototyping, genomics, engineering ethics, and engineering education. He earned his MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from University of California, Berkeley and a BS in engineering from Harvey Mudd College.

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Joel Alejandro Mejia University of San Diego Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3908-9930

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Dr. Joel Alejandro (Alex) Mejia is an assistant professor of General Engineering at the University of San Diego. His current research investigates the funds of knowledge of Latinx adolescents, and how they use these funds of knowledge to solve engineering problems in their communities. Dr. Mejia is particularly interested in how Latinx adolescents bring forth unique ways of knowing, doing, and being that provide them with particular ways of framing, approaching, and solving engineering problems. He is also interested in engineering critical literacies, equity-oriented instructional strategies that support engineering activity, the use and application of critical theories in engineering education, and the development of critical consciousness among engineering students through social justice.

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Diana A. Chen University of San Diego Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0003-3616-1538

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Dr. Diana A. Chen is an Assistant Professor of General Engineering at the University of San Diego. She joined the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering in 2016. Her research interests are in areas of sustainable design, including biomimicry and adaptability in structural, city, and regional applications. She earned her MS and PhD in Civil Engineering from Clemson University in South Carolina, and her BS in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College.

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Susan M. Lord University of San Diego

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Susan M. Lord received a B.S. from Cornell University and the M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. She is currently Professor and Chair of Electrical Engineering at the University of San Diego. Her teaching and research interests include electronics, optoelectronics, materials science, first year engineering courses, feminist and liberative pedagogies, engineering student persistence, and student autonomy. Her research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Lord is a fellow of the ASEE and IEEE and is active in the engineering education community including serving as General Co-Chair of the 2006 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, on the FIE Steering Committee, and as President of the IEEE Education Society for 2009-2010. She is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Education. She and her coauthors were awarded the 2011 Wickenden Award for the best paper in the Journal of Engineering Education and the 2011 Best Paper Award for the IEEE Transactions on Education. In Spring 2012, Dr. Lord spent a sabbatical at Southeast University in Nanjing, China.

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Abstract

Energy is a foundational topic across engineering disciplines; however, energy concepts are typically introduced in a disjointed fashion across multiple courses. Students often have difficulty making connections across disciplines that leverage their own personal funds of knowledge. For example, many students often fail to connect their personal experience with technology (e.g. home appliances) with the engineering concepts (e.g. 1st law of thermodynamics) introduced in class. We are exploring a reconceived approach for introducing students to these important concepts. The authors, with expertise in four different engineering disciplines, recognize that many discourses in engineering exist in tension with each other. The context in which we teach energy is too often narrowly defined and framed by both hegemonic disciplinary literacies (i.e., mechanical engineers tend to focus heavily on steam tables) and dominant cultural perspectives (i.e., White, male, colonial, and heteronormative). Our objective is to redefine the teaching and learning of energy in engineering to recognize the broad diversity that exists within the world around energy. This paper, submitted as a work in progress, describes our vision for a new course that brings together energy concepts from traditional middle year courses such as thermodynamics and circuits. We propose to use culturally sustaining pedagogies (CSPs) to provide all students with a stronger foundation and a broader perspective. CSPs seek to value and cultivate the cultural and social pluralism that creates a democratic educational experience and have been shown to increase student engagement and improve student outcomes in K-12 education. We hypothesize that the use of CSPs will help with breaking down the false dichotomy of engineering problems as strictly “social” or “technical.” In this paper, we briefly review approaches taken to teach energy in engineering. We then examine CSPs and make the case for how they might be used within engineering. We discuss our preliminary ideas for the course itself. The goal of this paper is to stimulate discussion within the ASEE community to improve course effectiveness in enhancing student learning. This project is part of a larger overall effort at [University] to integrate social justice themes across the curriculum of a new general engineering department. This paper will present our progress towards instantiating in the classroom the broader vision laid out for our program.

Hoople, G. D., & Mejia, J. A., & Chen, D. A., & Lord, S. M. (2018, June), Reimagining Energy: Deconstructing Traditional Engineering Silos Using Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30929

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