June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
New Engineering Educators
12.1302.1 - 12.1302.17
Storytelling in Engineering Education
Storytelling has a long tradition. In education and psychology, stories support learning and cognitive development and are an inquiry method for eliciting folk knowledge. In organizational and professional settings, stories are being used to facilitate change and innovation. A common thread is that stories are an effective tool for eliciting insider knowledge, engaging communities of learners around shared practices, and building new knowledge. We have been exploring the use of storytelling in engineering education. One aspect of our work is conducting research on pathways (stories) for becoming interdisciplinary engineering education researchers. Another aspect of our work is using stories to make visible what we as a community are learning about engineering education. In 2005 we designed and implemented an interactive session at the Frontiers in Education (FIE) conference called “Communities in Practice – What are We Learning”. The goal of the interactive session was to make visible and shared what we as a community are learning – a form of knowledge that is typically outside the realm of public presentations and publications. We did this by creating an interactive “poster story forum” on challenges experienced in engineering education research and strategies for success. In this paper, we provide an overview on storytelling, describe our use of stories for building community in engineering education, and summarize results from the evaluation of our interactive FIE storytelling session.
The engineering education research community is evolving. Some evidence of this is the growth of capacity building programs such as year-long mentored or collaborative research experiences[1-4] and departments of engineering education (e.g., Purdue University, Virginia Tech). At a smaller scale are workshops and interactive sessions at engineering education conferences that focus on research skill development [5-7]. Venues for disseminating engineering education scholarship are also changing such as the recent transformation of the Journal of Engineering Education into the premiere journal for engineering education research . Central to these changes are conversations around envisioning engineering education as a new professional discipline [9-11]. These conversations focus on such issues as frameworks for new disciplinary endeavors , guidelines for rigorous research , and research agendas .
One challenge emerging from all these conversations is how to share what we as a community are learning about the process of conducting engineering education research, ways to make an impact on engineering education, and strategies for successfully navigating an engineering education career. As an interdisciplinary endeavor, engineering education research is evolving through practice and the community is at a point of time where this kind of focused dialogue and community building are crucial. By making knowledge visible and explicit we are helping
Adams, R., & Allendoerfer, C., & Rhoulac Smith, T., & Socha, D., & Williams, D., & Yasuhara, K. (2007, June), Storytelling In Engineering Education Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2904
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