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Engineering Identities: Affordances and Constraints of Different Methods for Exploring Engineering Students’ Identity Work
Uppsala universitet.
Umeå University. (UmSER)
Umeå University. (UmSER)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3614-1692
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Previous engineering education research concerned with inclusion and exclusion has typically focused on female underrepresentation and the identity work necessary for women in engineering (cf. Tonso 1999, Phipps 2008). This presentation has dual purposes; one empirical and one methodological. The empirical object under investigation is how social class is negotiated in male engineering students’ narratives about ‘educational choice’ and professional trajectories, with a particular focus on how trajectories into, through, and out of engineering educations are constructed. The methodological purpose is to discuss the affordances and constraints of using a small-scale ethnographic approach for exploring students’ identity constitution in the context of engineering education. The empirical data was collected within the bachelor Engineering Mechanics Programme (EMP) and consists of interviews with six engineering students, video-diaries recorded by the interviewed students, ethnographic field-notes from lectures and video-recordings or project work. Engineering educations are currently being transformed, both to attract new groups of students (e.g. women) and to provide the students with broader skill-sets than those traditionally included in engineering educations (e.g. team working skills). The EMP was chosen as it, as educating for a traditional branch of engineering, is likely to incorporate tensions between traditional and contemporary notions of engineering. The ethnographic observations and video-recordings of project work show an enactment of a passion for technology, but also an instrumental approach to the education and the completion of the project (see also, Ottemo 2015). The interviews and video-diaries provide additional means of exploring this passion/instrumental tension in relation to the students’ conceptualisation of engineering education practices, in particular the extent to which they take pride in the completion of the product of their project work. A reoccurring theme in the interviews and video-diaries is also students’ negotiations of tensions between practical and theoretical/analytical aspects of engineering, something that can be interpreted in relation to a doing of social class (Gonsalves et al. 2016). The presentation will discuss further examples of findings, as related to particular methods for data collection and how the data collection methods complement one another.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
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Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-152311OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-152311DiVA, id: diva2:1252568
Conference
ECER 2018: Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research?, Bolzano, Italy, September 3-7, 2018
Available from: 2018-10-02 Created: 2018-10-02 Last updated: 2019-06-14Bibliographically approved

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Silfver, EvaBerge, Maria

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf