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Using Power, Privilege, and Intersectionality to Understand, Disrupt, and Dismantle Oppressive Structures within Academia: A Design Case

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Conference

2021 CoNECD

Location

Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day

Publication Date

January 24, 2021

Start Date

January 24, 2021

End Date

January 28, 2021

Conference Session

CoNECD Session : Day 1 Slot 7 Technical Session 3

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Submissions

Page Count

25

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36136

Download Count

27

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Paper Authors

biography

Nadia N. Kellam Arizona State University

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Nadia Kellam is Associate Professor in the Polytechnic School of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University (ASU). She is a qualitative researcher who primarily uses narrative research methods and is interested more broadly in interpretive research methods. In her research, Dr. Kellam is broadly interested in developing critical understandings of the culture of engineering education and, especially, the experiences of underrepresented undergraduate engineering students and engineering educators. In addition to teaching undergraduate engineering courses and a graduate course on entrepreneurship, she also enjoys teaching qualitative research methods in engineering education in the Engineering Education Systems and Design PhD program at ASU. She is deputy editor of the Journal of Engineering Education.

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Vanessa Svihla University of New Mexico Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4342-6178

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Dr. Vanessa Svihla is a learning scientist and associate professor at the University of New Mexico in the Organization, Information and Learning Sciences program and in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department. She served as Co-PI on an NSF RET Grant and a USDA NIFA grant, and is currently co-PI on three NSF-funded projects in engineering and computer science education, including a Revolutionizing Engineering Departments project. She was selected as a National Academy of Education / Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow and a 2018 NSF CAREER awardee in engineering education research. Dr. Svihla studies learning in authentic, real world conditions; this includes a two-strand research program focused on (1) authentic assessment, often aided by interactive technology, and (2) design learning, in which she studies engineers designing devices, scientists designing investigations, teachers designing learning experiences and students designing to learn.

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Susannah C. Davis Oregon State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4610-8052

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Susannah C. Davis is a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. She received her Ph.D. and M.Ed. from the University of Washington, and her B.A. from Smith College. She is currently working on the NSF-funded REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (RED) project at OSU. Her research focuses on organizational learning and change, particularly in higher education; learning in the workplace; curricular and pedagogical development; and the preparation of professionals for social justice goals.

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Susan Sajadi Arizona State University

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Susan Sajadi is a PhD student at Arizona State University within the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Susan also has a BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering. Prior to starting her PhD, she worked as an engineer in the medial device industry.
She is currently conducting engineering education research as a research assistant under Dr. Nadia Kellam.

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Jasmine Desiderio University of New Mexico

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Jasmine is a Ph.D. student in the Organizational, Information, Learning Sciences (OILS) program at the University of New Mexico. Her research interests focus on applying innovative approaches in learning sciences, eLearning, organizational learning and development, instructional technology, and human performance technology to address adversities of marginalized populations.

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Abstract

Many of us are working to create a more inclusive and socially just culture within engineering education and engineering. Despite significant effort, marginalization and discrimination continue, buoyed by systems of oppression. How can we disrupt and dismantle oppressive systems in engineering education? In our work, we explore how power and privilege are enacted within leadership teams that aim to create revolutionary changes within engineering departments. Based on this work, we developed the POWER protocol (Privilege and Oppression: Working for Equitable Recourse), a workshop that guides engineering educators to identify and understand the intersectional nature of power and privilege before planning strategies to disrupt, disarm, and dismantle it. In this paper, we present a design case to show how this workshop has evolved. We provide the POWER protocol in the appendix so that others can adapt this workshop for their own contexts.

In the interactive session at CoNECD, we will take attendees through part of the POWER protocol (we will scope the workshop to fit in the time allotted; the full workshop is 1.5 hours) to examine how power, privilege, and intersectionality can help attendees frame their experiences and begin to understand how their everyday experiences may be influenced by systemic oppression. To guide this process, we orient around the question: How can we become aware of power and privilege on collaborative academic teams in order to better affect social change and improve interdisciplinary and cross-identity/boundary interactions, communication, and inclusivity? We hope that through interactive sessions such as this that we can all become more persistent and sophisticated in our efforts to dismantle some of these forms of power and privilege within the university, especially those aspects that continue to oppress and oftentimes push marginalized people and perspectives out of academia. Our interactive approach will position attendees to bring this protocol back to their institutions and adapt it to their own contexts.

In the tradition of the design case such as those published by the International Journal of Designs for Learning, we detail how our contexts and the literature informed the iterative development of the POWER protocol in this paper. We provide a vivid account of the POWER protocol and a facilitation guide that others can use and adapt in their own contexts. Using a narrative format, we share a forthright account of our development process. Design cases are valuable in highlighting distinctive aspects of how a design came to be; by sharing our design decisions along with the design, others may gain insight into both what has made our design successful, and where it may be brittle when used in new contexts. Finally, we describe how we will engage attendees in the CoNECD session.

Kellam, N. N., & Svihla, V., & Davis, S. C., & Sajadi, S., & Desiderio, J. (2021, January), Using Power, Privilege, and Intersectionality to Understand, Disrupt, and Dismantle Oppressive Structures within Academia: A Design Case Paper presented at 2021 CoNECD, Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day . https://peer.asee.org/36136

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015