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Work in Progress: Exploring Intercultural Wonderment as a Mediator for Global Perspective Development in Engineering Students

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 3

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John Austin Schneider Rowan University Orcid 16x16

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John Schneider graduated from Rowan University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Engineering Management at Rowan University. He is working under Dr. Scott Streiner in researching international engineering education. Specifically, his work is focused on "intercultural wonderment" and its relationship to global competency in engineering undergraduates.

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Scott Duplicate Streiner Rowan University

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Dr. Scott Streiner is an assistant professor in the Experiential Engineering Education Department (ExEEd) at Rowan University. He received his Ph.D in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, with a focus in engineering education. His research interests include engineering global competency, curricula and assessment; pedagogical innovations through game-based and playful learning; spatial skills development and engineering ethics education. His funded research explores the nature of global competency development by assessing how international experiences improve the global perspectives of engineering students. Dr. Streiner has published papers and given presentations in global engineering education at several national conferences. Scott is an active member in the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) both locally and nationally, as well as the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE).

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Engineering educators believe that students who are able to work effectively with colleagues across national, cultural, and ethnic boundaries will be more successful post-graduation. Research has shown that international and cross-cultural experiences have a positive impact on students’ global competency. However, limited research has been conducted that investigates the process-oriented variables that facilitate the development of different outcomes for engineering students. Moreover, the differential effect of international experiences on engineering students suggests a more contextualized approach is needed to identify which aspects of the experience (i.e., program type, authentic interactions with host community) are most influential in developing global competency. This work-in-progress paper will discuss preliminary research findings from a research project that uses qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to explore the role of “intercultural wonderment” in fostering engineering students’ development of global perspectives and the types of international experiences that foster this phenomenon. Intercultural wonderment encapsulates the underlying curiosity in individuals to seek out new and different experiences while studying abroad and involves a willingness and capacity to deal with discomfort and disequilibrium (Engberg and Jourian, 2015).

The study leverages quantitative and qualitative data collected from a NSF, multi-institutional initiative that investigated how globally focused learning experiences impact students’ global perspectives. Fifty-nine students first completed a background questionnaire and the Global Perspective Inventory (GPI) – a nationally, normed instrument that measures students’ global learning and development. Students were then interviewed to identify and describe emerging themes related to global perspective development not captured by the questionnaire. Interviews were holistically reviewed with an a priori coding scheme based on the research objectives. Currently, an inductive, iterative coding protocol is being employed to further refine coding definitions and allow additional themes to emerge. Re-coding then occurred using the final coding protocol by two team members to code for inter-rater purposes with arbitration where necessary.

The results will have broad implications for international engineering education researchers and practitioners. It will offer deeper insight into how engineering students learn and develop global perspectives in international contexts and a more nuanced understanding of how particular program types mediate this process. As a result, engineering schools can better identify which opportunities and practices should be emphasized to better prepare students for the global workforce.

Engberg, M. E., & Jourian, T. J. (2015). Intercultural Wonderment and Study Abroad. Frontiers: the Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 25, 1-19.

Schneider, J. A., & Streiner, S. D. (2019, June), Work in Progress: Exploring Intercultural Wonderment as a Mediator for Global Perspective Development in Engineering Students Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33615

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