Asee peer logo

Work in Progress - An Equity Bifocals Framework for University Makerspaces

Download Paper |

Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ERM Technical Session 7: Learning and Research in Makerspaces

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

7

DOI

10.18260/1-2--33568

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33568

Download Count

183

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Wendy Roldan University of Washington

visit author page

Wendy is a second-year PhD student in Human Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington studying the development of equitable engineering education. Her work draws from the fields of engineering education, design, and learning sciences.

visit author page

biography

Jennifer A. Turns University of Washington

visit author page

Jennifer Turns is a Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. She is interested in all aspects of engineering education, including how to support engineering students in reflecting on experience, how to help engineering educators make effective teaching decisions, and the application of ideas from complexity science to the challenges of engineering education.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

The motivation for this work is based on the rapidly growing makerspace movement on university campuses with the simultaneous shift in enrollment of students from underrepresented groups in engineering degrees across the United States. How we conceptualize equity within makerspaces and in the field of engineering education is important as we engage in efforts to attract, retain, and sustain the success of students from non-dominant groups in engineering. But, conceptualizing equity within university makerspaces is an ongoing, large ask. We argue that we must first name the design tensions present in university makerspaces, to best position ourselves toward the design and implementation of equitable interventions in university makerspaces.

We propose an in-progress, practice-facing equity bifocals framework to help the engineering education community conceptualize equity in university makerspaces. We then provide one detailed illustration (using data from our ethnographic fieldwork) that exemplifies how we might use the framework to (a) identify generous and critical interpretations of a makerspace and (b) discuss design tensions.

An equity bifocals framework can help those interested in exploring equity within engineering education to both see more clearly what is going on in university makerspaces (honoring the work through a generative lens) and make sense of the questions we still have to address in the ongoing effort to design equitable makerspaces (proposing future action through a critical lens). We offer this practice-facing framework while being cognizant of existing efforts makerspace practitioners are currently engaging in to promote equity.

If we have (as we do) a goal of proposing ways in which issues of equity might be addressed in makerspaces, it is helpful to first have a framework to guide our efforts. The in-progress, practice-facing equity bifocals framework we introduce in this work could help the engineering education community work from a similar language when discussing equity strategies, decisions, and implications in a university makerspace. We propose that with this practice-facing equity bifocals framework we are better equipped to make more judicious and intentional decisions in the design of university makerspaces as we seek ways of improving spaces to be more equitable.

Roldan, W., & Turns, J. A. (2019, June), Work in Progress - An Equity Bifocals Framework for University Makerspaces Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33568

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: © 2019 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