July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Equity and Culture & Social Justice in Education
Broadening participation and making higher education more inclusive is a national imperative, especially within engineering education. A necessary step towards this goal is changing prevailing beliefs and practices about who belongs in engineering. To create this change, though, we need a better understanding of how the structures and practices of engineering are often grounded in the worldview of the dominant culture, which marginalizes non-dominant communities and worldviews (Garibay and Teasdale, 2019). Hence, we need an understanding of how other worldviews can also be incorporated in engineering. Because world views are often influenced by individuals’ home cultures (Byars-Winston, 2014), this marginalization is particularly true when we consider cultures that diverge from the anthropocentric paradigm that dominates White European cultures – including engineering education - and instead embrace more ecologically-centric perspectives. This study utilizes the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale to measure a person’s endorsement of a “pro-ecological” or environmental worldview or framework (Anderson, 2012) versus the dominant social paradigm(DSP). The NEP instrument was first published in 1978 as a way to measure a possible societal shift after the US environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s (Dunlap and Van Liere, 1978). The purpose of this research is to explore the potential relationships between participants’ paradigms and their racial and ethnical backgrounds. We thus ask the question, “What is the relationship between an individual’s racial or ethnic backgrounds and their likelihood of holding the NEP?” To explore this question, quantitative survey data from senior engineering students were collected utilizing the NEP instrument and participants’ demographic data. A Pearson’s chi-square test found that there is a significant relationship between which paradigm is endorsed by the participant and their race/ethnicity, X2(5) = 13.84, p < .05. Students from traditionally marginalized populations (i.e., Black/African Americans, Hispanic/Latinx, and Indigenous students) were 1.34 (1.08, 1.66) times more likely to endorse the NEP than their white counterparts. Future work will include not only exploring more of the questions in the survey to see if other patterns in paradigm or worldview can be seen for these groups, but developing approaches to support disaggregation of the data. We provide implications for research, policy, and practice, including an understanding of how culture and background influence paradigms can help inform initiatives geared towards broadening the participation of traditionally marginalized students in STEM.
Ketchum, Q. J., & Paretti, M. C., & Murzi, H., & Katz, A. (2021, July), Your Views Can Be My Views: Understanding Differences in Paradigms Held by Traditionally Marginalized Students in Engineering Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://strategy.asee.org/38227
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