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Statistical Analysis of the CAR (Confront, Address, Replace) Strategy and Its Efficacy when Applied to Master-slave Terminology

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Research on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

28

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37724

Download Count

10

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Paper Authors

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Amman Fasil Asfaw California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo

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Amman is an electrical engineering teaching associate and graduate student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he is striving to engineer a legacy of respect, integrity, and commitment through servant leadership.

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Storm Randolph California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Victoria Siaumau California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Yumi Rosa Aguilar California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Yumi Rosa Aguilar is a current Industrial Engineering student at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.

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Emily Flores

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Emily Flores is an undergraduate student studying Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies concentrating in Computer Science and Interdisciplinary Studies at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She believes in coding ethically and ensuring that the products of our knowledge create a positive impact for all communities.

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Jane L. Lehr California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Jane Lehr is a Professor in Ethnic Studies and Women's & Gender Studies and Director of Student Research at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. She is affiliated faculty in Computer Science and Software Engineering and Science, Technology and Society. She is also the 2019-20 Inclusive STEM Initiatives Fellow in the Colleges of Engineering, Science and Mathematics, and Liberal Arts and Faculty Director of the California State University (CSU) Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) in STEM Program at Cal Poly. She previously served as elected co-chair of the Science and Technology Taskforce of the National Women's Studies Association, and as a Postdoctoral Research Officer at the Centre for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS) at King's College, University of London. Her graduate training is in Science and Technology Studies and Women's Studies at Virginia Tech.

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Andrew Danowitz California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4842-2005

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Andrew Danowitz received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2014, and is currently an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. His engineering education interests include student mental health, retention, and motivation.

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Abstract

“Master-slave” terminology is still commonplace in engineering education and industry, however, questions have been raised about negative impacts of such language. Usage of iniquitous terminology such as“master-slave” in academia can make students—especially those who identify as women and/or Black/African-American—feel uncomfortable, potentially evoking Stereotype Threat and/or Curriculum Trauma [1], [2]. Indeed, prior research shows that students from a number of backgrounds find non-inclusive terminologies such as “master-slave” to be a major problem [1]. Currently, women-identifying and gender nonbinary students are underrepresented in the engineering industry while Black/African-American students are underrepresented in the entire higher education system, including engineering fields [3], [4].

The CAR Strategy, introduced here, stands for: 1) confront; 2) address; 3) replace and aims to provide a framework for driving out exclusionary terminologies in engineering education such as “master-slave.” The first step is to confront the historical significance of “master-slave” terminology. The second step is to address the technical inaccuracies of “master-slave”. Lastly, replace “master-slave” with an optional but recommended replacement terminology.

This study reports specifically on student perceptions and the effectiveness of The CAR Strategy piloted as a teaching framework in the computer engineering department of a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) in California. Of 64 students surveyed: 70% either agree or strongly agree that The CAR Strategy is an effective framework for driving out iniquitous terminologies such as “master-slave” in engineering education; and 67% either agree or strongly agree they would like to see all professors use The CAR Strategy when applicable in their classes.

Combining the statistical analysis with qualitative data points, we find The CAR Strategy to be an overall effective framework for driving out non-inclusive terminologies in engineering education. Further research is warranted on The CAR Strategy’s efficacy on other potentially problematic terminologies in engineering education such as “female-male” (connectors), “blacklist-whitelist” (element selection), and “blackhat-whitehat” (hackers).

Asfaw, A. F., & Randolph, S., & Siaumau, V., & Aguilar, Y. R., & Flores, E., & Lehr, J. L., & Danowitz, A. (2021, July), Statistical Analysis of the CAR (Confront, Address, Replace) Strategy and Its Efficacy when Applied to Master-slave Terminology Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37724

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