June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Educational Research and Methods
Similar to the Fibonacci sequence in the movie, the DaVinci code, patterns and sequences had to be uncovered to unlock the plan of action for the plot in the story. In a parallel manner, critical theoretical frameworks were developed to unlock “hard and complex truths” with the intent to critically analyze race, privilege, and marginalization of people of color from a legal standpoint. Eventually, critical theoretical frameworks were adapted to educational research to analyze complex systemic inequalities in education. For instance, one of the initial purposes of using critical frameworks in education was to challenge deficit thinking models. Although the deficit thinking models lacked empirical validations, critical theoretical frameworks had a powerful influence in educational practice because they challenged the idea that skills and attitudes of the students were to blame for students’ failure rather than the lack of structural changes in the schools. Thus, critical theoretical frameworks have played a very important role in cultural studies, education, social studies, and, in recent years, engineering education, by recognizing the “histories, experiences, cultures, and languages that have been devalued, misinterpreted, or omitted within formal educational settings” (Delgado-Bernal, 2002, p. 106). Although critical theoretical frameworks have been used to describe, in some instances, the continuous problem of underrepresentation of women and minorities in engineering, the misappropriation or misuse of these frameworks could be detrimental for the advancement of engineering education. Understanding how to accurately use critical theoretical frameworks can assist in analyzing the climate of engineering, its impact on underrepresented student populations, guide future research, and provide an opportunity to further improve the ways in which engineering “can become more inclusive and not simply superficially diverse” (Hiraldo, 2010, p. 54). The purpose of this literature review was to explore, synthesize, and critically analyze example research studies that use (or misuse) critical frameworks in engineering education. The literature review was guided by the following questions: 1. What are the common types of critical theoretical frameworks used to study underrepresented populations in engineering education? 2. Which populations are being studied in engineering education using critical theoretical frameworks, and which populations are not being considered? 3. How are these critical theoretical frameworks used in the research methodologies? The objective of this literature review is to describe how critical theoretical frameworks are being employed and emphasized in engineering education research. The databases EBSCO Host, IEEE Xplore, SAGE Research Methods, Journal of Engineering Education, ASEE PEER, Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, International Journal of Engineering Education, Advances in Engineering Education, and the Journal of STEM Education were used to locate primary sources. Several articles were identified as potential sources of information, but only articles published after the year 2005 concerning theoretical critical frameworks in engineering education spanning from the K-16 academic environment were considered relevant. A coding sheet was developed based on the characteristics significant to each study evaluated. The results of this evaluation, summarizing the outcomes of each study, were recorded in Landscape and Frequency tables.
Mejia, J. A., & Revelo, R. A., & Villanueva, I. (2017, June), The "Fibonacci Sequence" of Critical Theoretical Frameworks: Breaking the Code of Engineering Education Research with Underrepresented Populations Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28939
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