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Ottemo, A., Berge, M. & Silfver, E. (2020). Contextualizing technology: Between gender pluralization and class reproduction. Science Education, 104(4), 693-713
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contextualizing technology: Between gender pluralization and class reproduction
2020 (English)In: Science Education, ISSN 0036-8326, E-ISSN 1098-237X, Vol. 104, no 4, p. 693-713Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A diverse body of feminist scholarship has addressed the masculine orientation of Western engineering education for at least four decades. Among critiques specifically targeting curriculum, a recurrent line of argumentation highlights its reductionist framing and narrow focus on mathematics and technology. The argument is that these traits represent a masculine orientation and that women would gain from a curriculum more oriented towards the context and applicability of technical knowledge. Simultaneously, researchers working in a Bernsteinian, social realist, educational tradition have suggested that, from a social‐class perspective, it is important to provide all students with access to theoretical, abstract and context‐independent knowledge. This article explores the resultant, theoretical tension between these two positions. Our empirical starting point is a recently completed ethnographic study of a male‐dominated bachelor's degree engineering program in Sweden. This program's curriculum repeatedly emphasizes the value of experiential and contextually rooted knowledge over contextless and mathematically modeled knowledge. Borrowing Bernstein's terminology, we argue that such emphasis represents a privileging of horizontal discourse over vertical and that, as such, said curriculum potentially deprives the male, working‐class students of access to powerful knowledge. We further highlight how the program represents a poor target for the line of feminist critique identified above, despite being strongly male dominated. We thereby shed light on challenges related to formulating (intersectional) critiques of the engineering curriculum simultaneously attentive to both class and gender. Conclusively, we argue that efforts directed at making the engineering curriculum more inclusive can learn from both feminist and social realist lines of argumentation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2020
Keywords
contextualization, curriculum, engineering education, gender, social class
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-169658 (URN)10.1002/sce.21576 (DOI)000525896400001 ()2-s2.0-85083385852 (Scopus ID)
Projects
geps
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2014-2233
Available from: 2020-04-15 Created: 2020-04-15 Last updated: 2020-06-03Bibliographically approved
Takala, M., Silfver, E., Karlsson, Y. & Saarinen, M. (2020). Supporting Pupils in Finnish and Swedish Schools: Teachers’ Views. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 64(3), 313-332
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supporting Pupils in Finnish and Swedish Schools: Teachers’ Views
2020 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, ISSN 0031-3831, E-ISSN 1470-1170, Vol. 64, no 3, p. 313-332Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to investigate the different support systems usedby teachers in compulsory education. Class and subject teachers and specialeducators from Finland (N=57) and Sweden (N = 57) participated in thestudy, in which both qualitative and quantitative methods were used.Participants completed an electronic questionnaire to identify the supportsand methods they use when working with pupils who have specialeducational needs. The findings indicate both similarities and differencesbetween the two countries. One of the most common forms of support wasindividualisation, including pedagogical modifications. Methods of supportingacademic skills such as reading differed from those used to supportbehavioral issues. Positive pedagogy and structuring the environment wereused ways of supporting pupils with behavioral challenges. Results for bothcountries are compared and support needs are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2020
Keywords
Support, Finland, Sweden, inclusion
National Category
Pedagogy Learning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-153285 (URN)10.1080/00313831.2018.1541820 (DOI)000513310200001 ()2-s2.0-85057306610 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2018-11-15 Created: 2018-11-15 Last updated: 2020-03-12Bibliographically approved
Angervall, P. & Silfver, E. (2019). Assembling lines in research education: Challenges, choices and resistance among Swedish doctoral students. Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, 10(2), 142-154
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assembling lines in research education: Challenges, choices and resistance among Swedish doctoral students
2019 (English)In: Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, ISSN 2398-4686, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 142-154Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The higher education sector in Sweden has, over decades, faced increasing demands in terms of efficiency rates in research, as well as increasing demands in the international competition for external revenue. These demands have influenced academic career trajectories and postdoctoral tracks as well as the everyday work of doctoral students. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how doctoral students express and challenge subjectivity in the present context of research education.

Design/methodology/approach – The authors depart from the overall understanding that doctoral students’ lines of actions in research education depend on and form assemblages and, thus, define an academic institution. By re-analysing eight in-depth interviews, they illustrate how doctoral students from different milieus not only comply but also challenge, use border-crossings and change directions in research education.

Findings – The results show that some of these doctoral students try to act as loyal and satisfied, especially in regard to their supervisors, whereas others use coping strategies and resistance. It is illustrated that when some of the students use “unsecure” molecular lines, they appear more open to redefining possibilities and change, in comparison with those on more stable molar lines. Those acting on molar lines sometimes express a lack of emotional (productive) engagement, even though this particular group tend to more often get access to rewarded assemblages. These patterns are partly gender-related.

Social implications – The tension between finding more stable lines and spaces for change is apparent in doctoral students’ subjectivity, but also how this tension is related to gender. The women doctoral students appear not only more mobile but also in a sense more alert than their men peers. This offers insights in how actions define and redefine not only academic institutions but also different subjectivities.

Originality/value – In the present, given the manifold demands on academic institutions, new insights and methodological approaches are necessary to illustrate how contemporary changes affect research education and the everyday life of doctoral students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2019
Keywords
Creativity, Change, Assemblage, Research education, Doctoral subjectivity, Lines of action
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-160008 (URN)10.1108/SGPE-03-2019-0028 (DOI)000484277600004 ()2-s2.0-85066990822 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-06-11 Created: 2019-06-11 Last updated: 2019-11-14Bibliographically approved
Gonsalves, A., Silfver, E., Danielsson, A., Ottemo, A. & Berge, M. (2019). "Brunkers and brave heroes": Dominant Subject Positions in Figured Worlds of Construction Engineering. In: : . Paper presented at American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, April 5-9, 2019. All Academic, Inc.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Brunkers and brave heroes": Dominant Subject Positions in Figured Worlds of Construction Engineering
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2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Research in engineering education has pointed to the need for new engineers to develop a broader skill-set with an emphasis on 'softer' social skills. However, there remains strong tensions in the identity work that engineers must engage in to balance the technical demands of the discipline with the new emphasis on heterogeneous skills. This study explores how three non-traditional students experience these tensions in the final year of their construction engineering program, across classroom and workplace experiences. We explore the dominant subject positions for students in construction engineering classroom and workplaces in a three-year Swedish engineering program. Results demonstrate that dominant soubject positions for construction engineers can trouble students' identity work as the move across classroom and workplace settings. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
All Academic, Inc., 2019
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158152 (URN)
Conference
American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, April 5-9, 2019
Available from: 2019-04-15 Created: 2019-04-15 Last updated: 2019-08-20Bibliographically approved
Silfver, E. (2019). Gender performance in an out-of-school science context. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 14(1), 139-155
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender performance in an out-of-school science context
2019 (English)In: Cultural Studies of Science Education, ISSN 1871-1502, E-ISSN 1871-1510, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 139-155Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines how school students perform gender during a visit to a science centre where they programme Lego cars. The focus is on how students relate to each other—how they talk and what they do. Theoretically, the article draws on the ‘heterosexual matrix’ and a Foucauldian understanding of how power and knowledge are tightly interwoven and that discursive practices regulate people’s possible positions and ways of being in different situations and contexts. The analysis is primarily based on video data from the science centre and a number of student interviews. The article gives several examples of how stereotypical gender performances are maintained but also challenged. This is important knowledge, because if we want to challenge norms, we first need to see them and understand how they are reproduced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019
Keywords
science centre, programming, gender performance, power relations
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-141517 (URN)10.1007/s11422-017-9851-z (DOI)
Available from: 2017-11-06 Created: 2017-11-06 Last updated: 2019-04-23Bibliographically approved
Berge, M., Silfver, E. & Danielsson, A. (2019). In search of the new engineer: gender, age, and social class in information about engineering education. European Journal of Engineering Education, 44(5), 650-665
Open this publication in new window or tab >>In search of the new engineer: gender, age, and social class in information about engineering education
2019 (English)In: European Journal of Engineering Education, ISSN 0304-3797, E-ISSN 1469-5898, Vol. 44, no 5, p. 650-665Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is widely argued that engineering education needs to change in order to attract new groups of students and provide students with knowledge appropriate for the future society. In this paper we, therefore, investigate and analyse Swedish universities’ websites, focusing on what characteristics are brought to the fore as important for tomorrow’s engineers. The data consist of text and pictures/photos from nine different Engineering Mechanics programme websites. Using a critical discourse analysis approach, we identify three societal discourses concerning ‘technological progression’, ‘sustainability’, and ‘neoliberal ideals’, evident in the websites. These discourses make certain engineering identities possible, that we have labelled: traditional, contemporary, responsible, and self-made engineer. Our analysis shows that universities’ efforts to diversify students’ participation in engineering education simultaneously reveal stereotypical norms concerning gender and age. We also argue that strong neoliberal notions about the self-made engineer can derail awareness of a gendered, classed, and racialized society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019
Keywords
recruitment, widening participation, norms, discourse analysis, identity positions
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152294 (URN)10.1080/03043797.2018.1523133 (DOI)000488469700003 ()
Projects
EPIK (VR-UVK)
Available from: 2018-10-01 Created: 2018-10-01 Last updated: 2019-10-25Bibliographically approved
Gonsalves, A. J., Silfver, E., Danielsson, A. & Berge, M. (2019). "It’s not my dream, actually": students' identity work across figured worlds of construction engineering in Sweden. International Journal of STEM education, 6(13), 1-17
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"It’s not my dream, actually": students' identity work across figured worlds of construction engineering in Sweden
2019 (English)In: International Journal of STEM education, E-ISSN 2196-7822, Vol. 6, no 13, p. 1-17Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Research in engineering education has pointed to the need for new engineers to develop a broader skillsetwith an emphasis on “softer” social skills. However, there remains strong tensions in the identity work that engineersmust engage in to balance the technical demands of the discipline with the new emphasis on heterogeneous skills(Faulkner, Social Studies of Science 37:331–356, 2007). This study explores how three unconventional students experiencethese tensions in the final year of their construction engineering program, and as they move in and out of workplacefield experiences.Results: Using a figured worlds framework (Holland et al., Identity and agency in cultural worlds, 1998), we explore thedominant subject positions for students in construction engineering classroom and workplaces in a 3-year Swedishengineering program. Results demonstrate that dominant subject positions for construction engineers can troublestudents’ identity work as they move across classroom and workplace settings.Conclusions: This study expands our knowledge of the complexity of students’ identity work across classroom andworkplace settings. The emergence of classroom and workplace masculinities that shape the dominant subject positionsavailable to students are shown to trouble the identity work that students engage in as they move across these learningspaces. We examine students’ identity strategies that contribute to their persistence through the field. Finally, we discussimplications for teaching and research in light of students’ movements across these educational contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019
Keywords
Engineering, Masculinities, Identity, Heterogeneity
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158184 (URN)10.1186/s40594-019-0165-4 (DOI)000464854700001 ()
Available from: 2019-04-16 Created: 2019-04-16 Last updated: 2019-09-05Bibliographically approved
Andrée, M., Arvola-Orlander, A., Berge, M., Caiman, C., Danielsson, A., Grande, V., . . . Sumpter, L. (2019). Social justice in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education: Establishing a platform for conversation. In: : . Paper presented at NERA 2019, 6-8 March Uppsala (pp. 967-971). NERA, Nordic Educational Research Association
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social justice in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education: Establishing a platform for conversation
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2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NERA, Nordic Educational Research Association, 2019
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-157674 (URN)
Conference
NERA 2019, 6-8 March Uppsala
Available from: 2019-03-29 Created: 2019-03-29 Last updated: 2019-04-01Bibliographically approved
Danielsson, A. T., Gonsalves, A. J., Silfver, E. & Berge, M. (2019). The Pride and Joy of Engineering? The Identity Work of Male Working-Class Engineering Students. Engineering Studies, 11(3), 172-195
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Pride and Joy of Engineering? The Identity Work of Male Working-Class Engineering Students
2019 (English)In: Engineering Studies, ISSN 1937-8629, E-ISSN 1940-8374, Vol. 11, no 3, p. 172-195Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, we explore the identity work done by four male, working-class students who participate in a Swedish mechanical engineering program, with a focus on their participation in project work. A focus on how individuals negotiate their participation in science and technology disciplines has proven to be a valuable way to study inclusion and exclusion in such disciplines. This is of particular relevance in engineering education where it is widely argued that change is needed in order to attract new groups of students and provide students with knowledge appropriate for the future society. In this study we conceptualized identity as socially and discursively produced, and focus on tracing students’ identity trajectories. The empirical data consists of ethnographic field notes from lectures, video-recordings of project work, semi-structured interviews, and video-diaries recorded by the students. The findings show that even though all four students unproblematically associate with the ‘technicist’masculinity of their chosen program it takes considerable work to incorporate the project work into their engineering trajectories. Further, ‘laddish’ masculinities re/produced in higher education in engineering also contribute to a ‘troubled’ identity trajectory for one of the interviewed students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2019
Keywords
Engineering education, gender, identity, mechanical engineering
National Category
Didactics Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-163227 (URN)10.1080/19378629.2019.1663859 (DOI)000486178100001 ()
Note

Special Issue

Available from: 2019-09-11 Created: 2019-09-11 Last updated: 2019-11-07Bibliographically approved
Danielsson, A., Silfver, E., Gonsalves, A., Ottemo, A. & Berge, M. (2019). Video-diaries in engineering identities research: Some methodological considerations. In: : . Paper presented at NERA 2019, 6-8 March, uppsala. NERA, Nordic Educational Research Association
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Video-diaries in engineering identities research: Some methodological considerations
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2019 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NERA, Nordic Educational Research Association, 2019
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-157675 (URN)
Conference
NERA 2019, 6-8 March, uppsala
Available from: 2019-03-29 Created: 2019-03-29 Last updated: 2019-04-01Bibliographically approved
Projects
The Geek as gatekeeper? Changing relations between gender, race and technology [2018-03401_VR]; Umeå UniversityAnn Phoenix, Institute of Education, University College, London [2018-00341_VR]; Umeå University
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-6413-6538

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