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Seeking New Praxis And Pedagogy: Using Ethnographic Research Methods To Teach Architectural Technology Within An International Service Context

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Teaching Innovation in Architectural Engineering II

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1260.1 - 12.1260.20



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Paper Authors


David Cowan Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

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David Jan Cowan, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor: Architectural Technology
Design Technology Program
Purdue School of Engineering and Technology
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

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Derek Ogle Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

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Megan Svarczkopf Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Seeking New Praxis and Pedagogy: Using Ethnographic Research Methods to Teach Architectural Technology within an International Service Context


Ethnographers rely heavily upon methodologies that require observation and participation in the social actions they attempt to document (Hume and Mulcock 1). Extending these methodologies to architectural technology education requires consideration of their tools of the trade: reflection, videography and journalistic field notes (to name a few) (DeWalt and DeWalt 2 ). In the particular instance described within this paper, these methods were applied to an international architectural technology course (an undergraduate directed study) that involved the evaluation of post earthquake housing strategies. This paper looks at the effectiveness of using these strategies to teach students about sustainability, professionalism and construction techniques within a foreign setting. Using a post experience questionnaire, these methods are assessed for their effectiveness as a teaching tool outside the traditional classroom setting.

1.0 Introduction

This paper examines the application of qualitative research methods to learning

experiences gained within an international service learning course situated in Indonesia. It draws

heavily upon methods used by ethnographers and, in doing so, looks at the value of these

techniques within the context of traditional architectural technology education.

The paper sets the beginnings of the discussion within an undergraduate architectural

technology directed study course that was research based. It then examines the types of methods

used by ethnographers and explains how these were used in this instance. The discussion

advances to an assessment of the value of these methods in teaching architectural technology


2.0 Background

On May 27, 2006 just before 6:00 AM, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit near Jogjakarta

(Jogja), Indonesia and its many surrounding villages. This earthquake lasted approximately one

minute yet resulted in the deaths of approximately 6,000 people. There was one estimation that

Cowan, D., & Ogle, D., & Svarczkopf, M. (2007, June), Seeking New Praxis And Pedagogy: Using Ethnographic Research Methods To Teach Architectural Technology Within An International Service Context Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1666

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