July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
The underrepresentation of non-male and non-white individuals continues to be a persistent problem at all levels of engineering. In undergraduate education, multiple pathways into engineering degree programs (e.g., introductory courses offered at regional campuses and community colleges) are often viewed as a way to broaden participation in the field by increasing access and affordability. However, research within the K-12 context has uncovered that such educational tracking practices, similar in structure to those seen in higher education, often function in ways that perpetuate social inequalities. Often students in less prestigious tracks develop lower self-beliefs and educational attainment goals while being offered less resource and educational support. Despite these parallels, little is known about how institutionalized pathways function in higher education in terms of equity, access, and inclusion. In addition to the lack of knowledge about institutionalize pathways, little is known about the impact of beliefs about smartness which are directly tied to the various pathways. With an emphasis on math and science, common public messaging emphasizes that in order to be an engineer, one has to be smart regardless of pathway. As such, the beliefs that students hold about smartness and how they identify as smart can impact who chooses to pursue in engineering, through what pathways they engage, and who persists in engineering degree programs.
The overall objective of this study is to understand what, if any, patterns exist in the beliefs about smartness and self-identities of undergraduate engineering students across institutionalized pathways. Specifically, this three-year qualitative study aims to explore: 1) What students believe about smartness and engineering and 2) how students express their self-identities as smart and engineers. In this executive summary and poster, we will report on initial findings from preliminary analysis of the first of a series of three interviews over the course of our participants’ first- and second-years including engineering students from six different institutionalized pathways that feed into one college of engineering.
Kramer, A., & Braaten, B., & Kajfez, R. L., & Dringenberg, E. (2021, July), Who’s Smarter? Beliefs about Smartness and Self-Identities Across Institutionalized Educational Pathways into Engineering Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38059
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