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  • 1.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. Umeå University.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    I skämten döljs framtidens ingenjör2023Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Berge, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Laughing engineering students: how to avoid pitfalls of jokes and how humour can have a supporting role in engineering education2022In: 2022 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2022Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Humour is a complex form of communication andengineering educators need to use it with care. This specialsession aims to explore, discuss, and deconstruct jokes, humourand laughter in engineering education, since humour can haveboth good and bad side effects in all forms of interaction. Thegoal of this session is to collectively reflect on positive andnegative aspects of humour and how humour can work as anincluding element for some participants in the room, andexcluding for others. We want to create thought-provokingdiscussions where we together consider areas for improvementson engineering education to make every student feel welcome.

  • 3.
    Griffith, Jennifer Ann
    et al.
    University College London, UK.
    Jalali, Yousef
    EPFL, Switzerland.
    Kálmán, Aniko
    Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary.
    Kövesi, Klara
    ENSTA Bretagne, France .
    Langie, Greet
    KU Leuven, Belgium.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Mitchell, John
    University College London, UK.
    Polmear, Madeline
    King's College London, UK.
    Future perspectives of capacity building in engineering education2023In: Book of Proceedings for the 51st Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education: Engineering Education for Sustainability / [ed] Ger Reilly; Mike Murphy, Balázs Vince Nagy; Hannu-Matti Järvinen, Dublin: TU Dublin; SEFI , 2023, p. 3152-3157Conference paper (Refereed)
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  • 4.
    Huff, James L.
    et al.
    Harding University, Dept. of Engineering and Physics, AR, Searcy, United States.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Adawi, Tom
    Chalmers University of Technology, Div. of Engineering Education Research, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Kellam, Nadia N.
    Arizona State University, The Polytechnic School of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, AZ, Mesa, United States.
    Villanueva, Idalis
    University of Florida, Engineering Education Department, FL, Gainesville, United States.
    Special Session: Emotions in Engineering Education - A Roadmap to Possibilities in Research and Practice2020In: Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE, IEEE, 2020, article id 9274069Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This special session invites scholarly educators and engineering education researchers to learn about nascent research and innovative practice possibilities related to emotions in engineering education. Through an interactive session, facilitators will guide participants into developing their own thinking in relation to how emotions can shed novel insight on innovative teaching solutions and educational research. We have designed the special session to catalyze community around this topical interest for both education researchers and scholarly educators.

  • 5.
    Junaid, Sarah
    et al.
    Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
    Gwynne-Evans, Alison
    University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
    Kovacs, Helena
    École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Mejia, Jose Fernando Jimenez
    Universidad Nacional de Colombia Medellín, Colombia.
    Natsume, Kenichi
    Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Kanazawa, Japan.
    Polmear, Madeline
    Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
    Serreau, Yann
    Linéact CESI, France.
    Shaw, Corrinne
    University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
    Toboșaru, Mircea
    Politehnica University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania.
    Martin, Diana A.
    Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands.
    What is the role of ethics in accreditation documentation from a global view?2022In: SEFI 2022 - 50th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education: towards a new future in engineering education, new scenarios that european alliances of tech universities open up: Proceedings / [ed] Järvinen, Hannu Matti; Llorens García, Ariadna; Silvestre Bergés; Nagy, Balàzs; Quiñones Ruiz, José Miguel; Edvards Zalitis, Ernests, Barcelona: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya , 2022, p. 369-378Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ethics in engineering has long been an important element in engineering programmes, however these subjects are often taught at a basic learning level with little attempt to connect to demonstrative learning outcomes. In recent years there has been a step change in the importance of ethics as an integral part of engineering programmes and is reflected in the text of accreditation documents. In this paper we expand our analysis from an earlier study, which focused on four European countries, to understand the role of ethics on a more global scale. We conducted a multi-country analysis on how and where ethics features in accreditation documents in twelve countries across five continents (Belgium, Canada, Colombia, France/Switzerland, Ireland, Japan, Romania, South Africa, Sweden, UK and USA). We identified explicit or implicit references to ethics education, extracted verbs relating to learning outcomes, and compared definitions of key terms. A comparison to Bloom's taxonomy showed considerably higher frequency of verbs linked to ethics teaching associated to lower levels of cognitive learning. Definitions of terms relating to the process of accreditation were often lacking in documents, highlighting a need for setting terms of reference. This study highlights differences in how ethics is described in accreditation documents. However, more needs to be done to explicitly highlight ethics as an integral part of engineering education. Relying on implicit links to ethics leaves the role of ethics open to interpretation, resulting in uneven emphasis in the translation of ethics within programme designs.

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  • 6.
    Kövesi, K.
    et al.
    ENSTA, Bretagne Brest, France.
    Langie, G.
    KU Leuven, LESEC, Faculty of Engineering Technology, ETHER, Campus De Nayer, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium.
    Gardner, A.
    University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
    Griffiths, J.
    University College London, London, United Kingdom.
    Kálmán, A.
    Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Ruth-Polmear, M.
    Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
    International practice of capacity building in engineering education: a comparative case study2022In: SEFI 2022 - 50th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education: towards a new future in engineering education, new scenarios that european alliances of tech universities open up: Proceedings / [ed] Järvinen, Hannu Matti; Llorens García, Ariadna; Silvestre Bergés; Nagy, Balàzs; Quiñones Ruiz, José Miguel; Edvards Zalitis, Ernests, Barcelona: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya , 2022, p. 379-390Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Capacity building is a corner stone for having well prepared and effective teaching staff in engineering education. Despite the importance of capacity building in engineering education, there is relatively little research on this topic. In this paper, we address this gap by reporting on an international comparative study on capacity building practices in university-level engineering education. We examine how capacity building is organised in seven European institutions (in Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, UK) and Australia, based on institutional education policies and practices. We compare the preparation of teaching staff, their initial training, and continuing capacity building activities throughout their careers. To do this, we applied a qualitative approach, collecting data through (1) a structured questionnaire answered by the members of the SEFI SIG on Capacity building and (2) written notes produced during an international workshop on capacity building at the 2021 SEFI conference. We then conducted a comparative case study, exploring similarities and differences between incentives for permanent academic staff to engage in capacity building, how capacity building is organised, and at what point in their careers staff engage in it. Our findings indicate very diverse approaches, rules and practices as well as different obstacles and challenges for engineering education. The outcomes of our study can be used by policy makers to inform capacity building practices and engineering education in HEIs (Higher Education Institutions), and our questionnaire provides a tool for monitoring and reporting practices throughout the sector.

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  • 7.
    Langie, G.
    et al.
    KU Leuven Leuven, Belgium.
    Porras, P.
    LAB University of Applied Sciences, Lappeenranta, Finland.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Gardner, A.
    University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
    The pursuit of great engineering courses: dive into a staff development program and reach the top?2021In: SEFI 49th Annual Conference: Blended Learning in Engineering Education: Challenging, Enlightening - and Lasting?: Proceedings / [ed] Hans-Ulrich Heiß; Hannu-Matti Järvinen; Annette Mayer; Alexandra Schulz, European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) , 2021, p. 1553-1555Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the recently started special interest group (SIG) on Capacity Building, we noticedthat teacher qualification requirements differ between countries and, sometimes,even between universities in the same country. Based on this observation, wearranged a workshop during the annual SEFI meeting in September 2021, askingparticipants for up-to-date information about requirements in their diverse nationaland institutional contexts and could learn about best practises from each other. Mostof participants were from Europe (11), but Australia (1) and the United States (1)were also represented.

  • 8.
    Lodén, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Ottander, Christina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Digital science competence: secondary school students’ reasoning about filterbubbles and search engines2022In: Eridob22: 13th Conference of European Researchers in Didactics of Biology, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus, August 29-September 2, 2022, University of Cyprus , 2022, p. 67-67Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Secondary schools need to develop students’ digital competence. In Sweden this requirement is included in governing documents for school subjects such as civic and history. However, the governing documents for science education in Sweden lack these requirements. This study aims to explore students’ reasoning about digital information retrieval in biology education. The research question is: How do secondary school students’ reason about filter bubbles and their use of search engines when searching for scientific knowledge online? The study employs mixed methods, including (1) a questionnaire with open-ended and multiple-choice questions, (2) written reflections (3) focus group discussions. Altogether 68 students participated in the data collection. The data collection methods were informed by Ribble's framework for digital citizenship  and guided the abductive thematic data analysis. Theme 1: search results and science concepts. Students’ responses indicate a belief that search results are primarily influenced by the keywords used and the search history. Students argued that more serious, credible, and precise search results can be obtained if one uses correctly spelled keywords, appropriate science concepts and synonyms. Theme 2: filter bubbles and information overload. Students demonstrated a low level of awareness about how filter bubbles can influence search results and what consequences this may have for social life; rather than problematizing filter bubbles. These preliminary results indicate that the participating students demonstrate insufficient digital competence and under-developed online search practices when searching for biology-related knowledge online. More research is needed on how science teachers can help students develop the skills and attitudes they need to engage critically and constructively with the ever-increasing amount of science-related information online.       

  • 9.
    Lodén, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Ottander, Christina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Mastering online searches: how students find science information2023Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    A critical conversation on the role of emotions for social justice in and through engineering education2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Emotions and power are closely intertwined. Critical and feminist scholars, such as Paulo Freire and Megan Boler, have convincingly argued that emotions are both a site of social control and a driving force for resistance against social injustice. On the one hand, these scholars have argued that liberal Western theory has created a dichotomy between reason and emotion, where emotion is described as inferior and a hinder to rational thought and politics. By ascribing emotionality to certain groups, gendered, racialized and class hierarchies have been created in which some groups (e.g. women, racial minorities, working class) have been excluded from political discourse and decision making. This divide is today particularly strong in engineering, where norms of rationality and unemotionality limit discussion and expression of emotions. On the other hand, scholars have argued that emotions are a prerequisite for both dialogue (e.g. trust, love, compassion) and attempts to changing unjust structures and practices (e.g. anger, courage, hope). 

    Therefore, the ways in which we talk about, research, and leverage emotions matters for our work towards social justice. This issue is particularly relevant for engineering education research at this point in time since there is an emerging and rapidly growing body of research on emotions in engineering education. While this body of research is not yet consolidated, there should be a window of opportunity to influence in which directions the field develops and what types of questions become central. This workshop is an invitation to explore how we could stimulate research on emotions in engineering education that supports our work for social justice in and through engineering education. 

    To avoid imposing yet another (my) Eurocentric perspective on emotions in engineering education, the discussion will be guided by participants’ own perspectives and interests. Examples of questions that could be discussed are: What emotion norms can we identify in our different contexts? Do we need to challenge these norms in our work for social justice? If so, what can we do? How can we as educators and activists avoid talking about emotion in ways that may perpetuate unjust power structures? How can we leverage emotions for social change? What theories and methods (e.g. critical reflection, narrative approaches, activism) can we draw on in engineering education research to learn more about how we can leverage emotions for social change in and through engineering education? And how can we ensure that minority perspectives (e.g. indigenous, racial) on emotions are included in our discussions?

  • 11.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Developing assessment activities for “wicked sustainability problem”-°©‐literacy in engineering education2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of this workshop is twofold: Firstly, we will discuss “wicked sustainability problems” (WSPs) and “WSP-literacy” as useful concepts in engineering education for sustainable development. Secondly, we will collaboratively develop concrete assessment activities for WSP-literacy. We expect that participants will be able to directly apply (some of) the developed activities in their own teaching.

    In order to support sustainable development through engineering education, we need to train students to deal with complex and contested problems that lack single right solutions (here called wicked sustainability problems, WSPs). In this workshop, we will discuss what students need to learn to be able to deal with such problems and how such learning can be assessed in the context of engineering education.

    The workshop builds on the paper “Assessing “Wicked Sustainability Problem” – Literacy in Engineering Education” (Lönngren & Svanström 2015), for which the authors received the Environmental Engineering Division’s award for best graduate student paper at the 2015 ASEE Annual Conference. The paper introduces the concept of WSP-literacy, presents a matrix of 22 intended learning outcomes (ILOs) for WSP-literacy, and discusses two approaches to assessing (some of) them in engineering education.

    In this workshop, we will develop further approaches for assessing ILOs for WSP-literacy in engineering education. After the workshop, participants are expected to be able to independently apply the assessment activities to their own teaching. 

    The workshop is structured as follows:

    1. Introduction to the concepts of WSPs and WSP-literacy
    2. Discussion of ILOs for WSP-literacy and requirements for assessment of WSPs
    3. Discussion of two assessment strategies for (some of) the ILOs
    4. Group work: develop own assessment activities for selected ILOs
    5. Presentations of group work and feedback from other groups
    6. Summarizing discussion and evaluation of the workshop 

    The workshop is part of an ongoing research project and will therefore be audio-recorded for later analysis. The facilitator will summarize the results from the workshop and distribute them to interested participants.

    In preparation of the workshop, participants are encouraged to complete a short pre-workshop questionnaire and read the paper “Assessing “Wicked Sustainability Problem” – Literacy in Engineering Education”, which is available here:dx.doi.org/10.18260/p.23585.

  • 12.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Department of Applied IT, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Engineering students’ ways of relating to wicked sustainability problems2014Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This licentiate thesis constitutes a part of a larger research effort that aims to provide a theoretical framework for understanding and working with engineering students’ ways of relating to wicked sustainability problems (WSPs) on the basis of conceptual, empirical, and practical considerations. Thus, the project aims to contribute to an understanding of how engineering education can support students in developing the capabilities that they need to actively participate in discussions about sustainable development and to constructively deal with WSPs.

    The concept of perspectives provides a point of departure for the research. Paper I introduces a conceptual framework for conceiving of and communicating about perspectives and perspective processes in the context of engineering education for sustainable development. In Paper II, four qualitatively different ways in which engineering students understand and approach a specific WSP are described based on an empirical study. The results from the study suggest that a partial experience of the complexity of WSPs may lower rather than increase students’ abilities to deal with WSPs, and that educators therefore should pay attention to support the students in progressing beyond this level. A combination of the results from the two papers provides input for discussions about what it may mean to fully appreciate the complexity of WSPs, and a basis for more practice-oriented research in line with the aim of this research.

  • 13.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Exploring the Discursive Construction of Ethics in an Introductory Engineering Course2019In: 8th Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES 2019): Making connections / [ed] Bruce Klot, Research in Engineering Education Network , 2019, p. 262-271Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Engineering education must prepare students to assume professional responsibility for the societal impact of technology. However, research suggests that most engineering students do not receive adequate training for assuming this responsibility. In this paper, I explore why this may be so. Using a discourse analytic approach on ethnographic field notes and interview data, I explore how ethical reflection is articulated in an introductory engineering course in Sweden. The preliminary results suggest that – despite the teachers’ intentions – ethical reflection is articulated as something that is easy, not very important, for which there are no valid quality criteria, and which cannot be improved. Three factors seem to have contributed to this articulation: 1. low requirements for passing the tasks that included ethical reflection; 2. focus on general requirements for essays and reports at university, rather than on the quality of ethical reflection; and 3. lack of constructive feedback on ethical reflection.

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  • 14.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Exploring the discursive construction of ethics in an introductory engineering course2021In: Journal of Engineering Education, ISSN 1069-4730, E-ISSN 1524-4873, Vol. 110, p. 44-69Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Engineering education must prepare students to assume professional and ethical responsibility for the societal impacts of technology, but most engineering students do not receive adequate ethics teaching. In fact, engineering education has been described as characterized by a “culture of disengagement” in which ethical and societal concerns are constructed as different from and less important than purely technical concerns.

    Purpose/Hypothesis: This study explores how a culture of disengagement is discursively constructed and perpetuated in engineering education by analyzing the discursive construction of ethics and ethical reflection in an introductory engineering course in Sweden.

    Design/Method: The study is based on extensive ethnographic data in the form of field notes, lecture recordings, interview data, and course documents. The data are analyzed using a discourse analytic approach rooted in discourse theory.

    Results: The results illustrate five processes through which ethics and ethical reflection are articulated as not the responsibility of the specific field of engineering, irrelevant for the profession, of low quality and status, and not very important for the engineering degree.

    Conclusions: The results contribute to understanding how a culture of disengagement may be perpetuated in engineering education. The results also point toward pedagogical tools and strategies that instructors and program managers can use to construct ethics and ethical reflection as an advanced skill that is an important and integral part of engineering and engineering education—and thus better prepare future engineers to become responsible professionals.

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  • 15.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Ideological dilemmas in first-year students’ positioning: Duties to take responsibility for one’s own studies, but limited rights to actually do so2021In: NORDISCO : 6th Interdisciplinary Conference on Discourse and Interaction. Department of Education, Uppsala University, Sweden, November 17-19, 2021: Book of Abstracts, Uppsala universitet , 2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has shown that many students experience significant challenges as they transition from secondary to higher education and that these challenges often are related to students’ ability to take responsibility for their studies, here called self-responsibility. However, there is no consensus in research or practice regarding how students develop self-responsibility and how teachers can support this development. This presentation contributes to addressing this gap by exploring how students’ self-responsibility is discursively constructed and negotiated in student-teacher interaction in a first-year engineering program in Sweden. An extensive ethnographic data material is analyzed through the lens of positioning theory, with a particular focus on how students’ rights and duties related to their self-responsibility are negotiated. The results show that teachers often confront students with an ideological dilemma: students are positioned as having the duty to take self-responsibility but also as not always having the right to do so. For example, teachers often urge students to take responsibility for planning their studies, but teachers also withhold information that would allow students to make informed decisions about, e.g., whether or not to attend non-mandatory lectures. The results also show that students sometimes resist teachers’ attempts at positioning them as not responsible. These resistances, in turn, provide a starting-point for identifying ways in which teachers could better contribute to positioning students as self-responsible and thus to leverage students’ own efforts of becoming self-responsible. 

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    Book of Abstracts
  • 16. Lönngren, Johanna
    “It’s okay, nobody can read it anyways”: Experiences of using stenography in ethnographic fieldwork2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Most ethnographic fieldwork involves producing jottings: brief written notes that are taken during field observations and that later serve as a memory support for constructing detailed fieldnotes. In producing jottings, ethnographers face the challenge of recording as much detail as possible. The literature is replete with advice on whatto record, but there is less guidance on howto produce jottings as quickly and efficiently as possible. While many experienced ethnographers have developed their own systems of abbreviations, novice ethnographers may find it difficult to develop their own jotting system in parallell with their first fieldwork. A novice ethnographer myself, I faced this challenge as I prepared for my first ethnographic fieldwork last year. To address the challenge, I decided to learn stenography. In the literature, stenography is sporadically mentioned as one possible way of speeding up the production of jottings. However, there is a lack of concrete and detailed descriptions of how the use of stenography may affect ethnographic research. To address this lack, the aim of this methodological contribution is to describe and evaluate the use of a specific stenographic system, the Melin system, in the context of an ethnographic study in a first-year engineering program in Sweden.

    In this study, the use of the Melin system of stenography facilitated the production of jottings by speeding up note taking and reducing wrist pain, thus allowing me to take more notes for longer periods of observation and to often include verbal quotes. However, I experienced difficulties in reading my own stenographic notes, which resulted in slower translation of jottings into detailed fieldnotes. The use of stenography had other important effects on the research: 1) The slower process of producing fieldnotes gave me more time to reflect on my observations while writing fieldnotes, thus facilitating continuous analysis in parallell with on-going fieldwork. 2) Stenography effectively rendered my jottings unreadable to anybody except myself. This allowed me to take notes without restrictions and it allowed participants to more comfortably talk about sensitive topics because “nobody can read it [the notes] anyways”. 3) It elicited interest and appreciation from research participants, thus contributing to initiate conversations and build rapport. 4) It made the research more enjoyable, which helped to mediate stress and anxiety during my first fieldwork experiences.

    In this methodological contribution, I describe and evaluate the use of stenography for producing jottings in a concrete ethnographic research project. The results provide insights for ethnographers who find a need to develop the way in which they produce and use jottings. Specifically, the results help researchers to take more informed decisions about whether or not stenography may be a viable alternative. The results may be particularly valuable for novice ethnographers who, maybe for the first time, face the challenge of producing jottings quickly and efficiently.

  • 17.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Komplekse utfordringer krever nye løsninger2023In: Bærekraft og digitalisering / [ed] Asbjørn Rolstadås; Helge Bratebø, Annik Magerholm Fet; Arne Krokan; Gunnar Sand; Henrik Syse; Tor Inge Waag; Geir Egil Dahle Øien, Trondheim: Norges Tekniske Vitenskapsakademi; John Grieg Forlag , 2023, p. 49-58Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [no]

    Hvordan kan vi forberede fremtidige ingeniører på å håndtere komplekse, omstridte og ofte eksistensielle bærekraftutfordringer? Utdanning for bærekraftig utvikling (UBU) har som mål å gi studenter den kunnskapen, kompetansen og den påvirkningen de trenger for å håndtere sammenkoblede, globale bærekraftutfordringer som klimaendring, tap av biologisk mangfold, ulikheter og globale helsekriser.

  • 18.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    More Than a ‘Nice Change’: Educators must teach students that ethics are an integral part of engineering education and practice2021Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Technological advancements profoundly influence society and impact people’s lives globally. Engineering students therefore must learn how to take ethical responsibility for the societal impacts of technology. Many engineering instructors are highly engaged in, and committed to, teaching ethics in their classrooms. However, research suggests that many students still graduate with the impression that ethics is not an important part of their education and doesn’t concern them as future engineers. I wanted to understand why and how that occurs.

    I conducted an in-depth study in a general introductory course for first-year engineering students in Sweden. The course covered ethics as well as design methodology, group and project work, and engineering as a profession. According to the course description, the ethics instruction in the course aimed to develop the students’ ability to discuss moral and ethical concerns that may arise in their professional work. Students attended a lecture highlighting two professional codes of ethics and participated in discussions of fictitious ethics cases in small groups and from perspectives such as those of employees or customers. At the end of the lecture, they were assigned a reflective essay in which they had to identify an ethical dilemma they could expect to encounter in their future professional life, apply at least one of the professional codes, and discuss how they would act.

    I followed the students to most of their classes and observed group work sessions. I also conducted interviews with students and teachers and collected course documents and student work. In analyzing the data, I focused on how instructors and students talked about ethics in relation to other topics in the course, the engineering degree, and the engineering profession. For my analysis, I created a mind map of positive (aligning) and negative (distancing) relations.

    The results illustrate how ethics may be viewed as unimportant in the culture of engineering education and how this often happens unintentionally despite instructors’ best intentions to integrate ethical reflection and decision-making in their teaching. For example, the results show that teachers talked about ethics as something other than the technical content of the engineering program, comparable to subjects such as philosophy or Japanese. Indeed, students experienced the ethics content in the course as “a nice change” but not very well integrated with the technical content.

    Teachers also described ethics as mostly about commonsense thinking and personal opinions, which left students with an understanding of ethical reflection as an activity that requires neither analysis nor carefully developed ethical principles and frameworks. In contrast, teachers talked about technical content with a strong focus on robustly tested theories and methods. This difference further strengthened students’ impressions that ethics is not an integral part of engineering. In addition, students’ ethics learning was not properly assessed in the course. The reflective essays were mainly assessed on their format, such as layout and use of references, rather than the quality of students’ ethical reflection. Unfortunately, students concluded that the essay “wasn’t very important.”

    To communicate the importance of ethics, instructors can teach ethical reflection as a structured, analytic activity based on frameworks of ethical reasoning. However, these frameworks must not be presented as abstract theories that could be perceived as irrelevant to engineering practice. Instead, students need to learn to apply these frameworks to concrete, real-world cases from everyday engineering work. Instructors must also assess ethics learning with explicit criteria, since students tend to focus their energy on what is assessed.

    Assessment criteria can also help teachers and students better understand what students are expected to learn, thus reducing their experience of ethics as “fluffy” and mostly about personal opinions. If we want our students to become responsible professionals, ethics needs to become one of their—and our—main foci. Frameworks of ethical reasoning and assessment rubrics can serve as effective tools to achieve that aim.

  • 19.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Navigating the maze of teaching and learning for sustainable development in engineering education: “Perspective shift” in relation to other key competences2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD) is challenging for both educators and students, partly due to the inherent complexity of the subject and the competences required to work for a sustainable development. Many EESD competences are today ill-defined and their mutual relationships and hierarchies are often unclear. As educators try to develop adequate learning sequences, and teaching and learning strategies, they wonder where to start, where to aim, and which route to take. 

    The aim of this paper is to shed light on a specific part of the maze which EESD competences compose. We report on research which aims at creating a conceptual model of one key competence in EESD, the ability to shift perspectives. Based on the findings from two different studies, we discuss how this ability interacts, overlaps, or competes with other EESD competences. It is our hope that this work will serve as a basis for future research into the character of, and interrelatedness of, EESD competences. Our long-term ambition is to create a comprehensive “map” which can guide educators and students in the field of engineering through the maze of teaching and learning for a sustainable future.

  • 20.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    On the value of using shorthand notation in ethnographic fieldwork2021In: Ethnography and Education, ISSN 1745-7823, E-ISSN 1745-7831, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 60-76Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Writing fieldnotes is an important part of ethnographic research. However, there is a striking lack of discussions about how different ways of producing fieldnotes may influence ethnographic research and meaning-making. The use of shorthand notation is sometimes mentioned as a tool to increase the speed and efficiency of note-taking, but I have not been able to find any discussions about when and how shorthand may be useful and appropriate for ethnographic fieldwork. This paper addresses this gap by discussing possible effects of using shorthand notation in ethnographic fieldwork on confidentiality, rapport, and power relations; researchers' well-being and career opportunities; the amount of data produced; reflexive meaning-making; and linguistic meaning-making. Drawing on fieldnotes from an ethnographic study in which I used shorthand notation and ethnographic literature on the writing of fieldnotes, I argue that shorthand notation may be more or less useful and appropriate for different types of ethnographic research projects.

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  • 21.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Understanding Complexity Related to Wicked Sustainability Problems2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 22.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Wicked problems: A systematic review of the literature2019In: ECER 2019: Abstracts, 2019Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainability challenges are often described as wicked problems(Lönngren, 2017; Norton, 2012). The term was first introduced in 1967 in a seminar at the University of California Architecture Department in Berkeley, USA. In the seminar, design professor Horst Rittel suggested “that the term ‘wicked problem’ refer to that class of social system problems which are ill-formulated, where the information is confusing, where there are many clients and decision makers with conflicting values, and where the ramifications in the whole system are thoroughly confusing. The adjective ‘wicked’ is supposed to describe the mischievous and even evil quality of these problems, where proposed ‘solutions’ often turn out to be worse than the symptoms” (Churchman, 1967, p. B141). In 1973, Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber published a seminal paper in which they described ten characteristics that distinguish wicked problems from “tame” problems (Rittel & Webber, 1973). Since 1973, the number of research papers in which the term “wicked problems” is used has steadily increased: A search in the Scopus database (12 Jan 2019) shows that, between 1973-1993, less than ten papers were published every year; this number increased to up to 54 papers per year between 1994-2011 and up to 218 papers per year between 2012-2018. Similarly, a search on “wicked problems” in Google scholar returned 15000 entries in March 2015 (McCall & Burge, 2016)and 20900 entries in January 2018. Consistent with the increasing use of the term in the research literature in general, Norton argues that the term becomes increasingly relevant for research on environmental problems since “environmental problems become more open-ended, more complex, and situation-dependent” (2012, p. 463). The term is also used in environmental and sustainability education research (ESER), for example in two research seminars at the 2016 European Conference on Educational Research. At these seminars, the presenters argued that wicked problems “bring about major challenges” for education and raise difficult questions, such as “how to deal with unstable and contested knowledge in educational processes” (Van Poeck, McKenzie, et al., 2016; Van Poeck, Östman, et al., 2016).

    Despite the increasing use of the term, the research community is divided with regard to the definition and value of the term. Some researchers argue that wicked problems is a useful concept since it “alerts educators to the limitations of any vision that narrowly directs the approach to solve it” (Jordan, Kleinsasser, & Roe, 2014, p. 420)and thus enables “people to give up the unrealistic hope for scientific solutions to tame the untamable” (Xiang, 2013, p. 2). Others argue that the term is “jargon” (Anon., 2016), is put to many different (often rhetorical) uses (Turnbull & Hoppe, 2017; Xiang, 2013), lacks a “firm conceptual base” (Turnbull & Hoppe, 2017, p. 2), and is outdated (Turnbull & Hoppe, 2017). Turnbull and Hoppe further argue that “there has been no convergence whatsoever on which problems are wicked nor what we should do about them” (2017, p. 4)and that the ontological assumptions underlying the term may “perpetuate the reductionist paradigm that it was designed to overcome”(2017, p. 25). While several thematic and critical overviews of the wicked problem literature have been published (Duckett, Feliciano, Martin-Ortega, & Munoz-Rojas, 2016; Lönngren, 2017; Turnbull & Hoppe, 2017; Xiang, 2013), we have not found any systematicreview. The aim of this contribution is therefore to provide a systematic review of the wicked problems literature and thus a basis for convergence and “cumulative growth of understanding” (Borrego, Foster, & Froyd, 2014, p. 50). A further purpose is to discuss the value of the term for theoretical and empirical work in different research fields and specifically in ESER.

    In 2009, Grant and Booth developed a typology of 14 different types of research reviews. In our review, we follow their description of a “systematic search and review”, which combines a systematic search of research evidence with a critical appraisal of the included literature. We also follow Borrego et al.’s description of how to conduct systematic literature reviews in developing interdisciplinary fields (such as ESER) that rely heavily on qualitative research rather than experimental studies (Borrego et al., 2014). According to Borrego et al., “systematic reviews follow transparent, methodical, and reproducible procedures that might be grouped broadly into two arenas: (1) selecting a collection of appropriate studies that will address the review question from the vast and rapidly increasing knowledge base and (2) extracting trends, patterns, relationships, and the overall picture from the collected studies” (Borrego et al., 2014, p. 50).

    To identify relevant literature, we search for peer-reviewed publication in general databases for journals, conference proceedings and theses. We search for papers that mention the term “wicked problem” anywhere in the publication and/or cite Rittel and Webber’s (1973) seminal paper. We then analyse and synthesise the selected publications with regard to the following questions:

    1. How is the term wicked problems defined in the literature? What are important similarities and differences between descriptions of the term?
    2. What ontological and epistemological assumptions underlie descriptions of wicked problems in the literature?
    3. How is the value of the term wicked problems for different research purposes described in the literature?
    4. What differences and similarities can be identified with regard to how the definition, underlying philosophical assumptions, and the value of the term is described in different research fields, national/cultural contexts, and/or over time?

    Based on the systematic review of the literature, we critically assess the state of empirical and theoretical research on wicked problems. We attempt to identify points of convergence and divergence in the literature. 

    In addition to these general results, we specifically discuss how the term has been used in ESER. ESER is an interdisciplinary research field with “widely differing discourses” (Sauvé, 2005)and an “extraordinary diversity of perspectives” (Ardoin, Clark, & Kelsey, 2013): research in the field is based on a large variety of ontological and epistemological assumptions. Due to this variety, we expect that our discussion of ontological and epistemological assumptions in the wicked problems in the literature will be of particular value for ESER. We expect that the perceived value of the term differs depending on basic philosophical assumptions that underlie different strands of research in ESER.

    Finally, we discuss implications for future research on wicked problems in ESER and other research fields. 

  • 23.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Wicked problems i lärande för hållbar utveckling: vägledning för att ta fram exempel och problembeskrivningar2021In: Högre Utbildning, E-ISSN 2000-7558, Vol. 11, no 3, p. 67-75Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Högre utbildning ska integrera hållbarhetsperspektiv, men många lärare upplever att de inte har tillräcklig kompetens eller tillgång till lämpliga pedagogiska verktyg. Ett mycket användbart pedagogiskt verktyg för lärande för hållbar utveckling är så kallade wicked problems, problem som saknar ”rätta” lösningar och som karakteriseras av stor komplexitet, osäkerhet och värdekonflikter. Men för att kunna arbeta med wicked problems behöver lärare först ta fram lämpliga exempel och beskriva dessa för studenterna så att studenterna vet vad de ska arbeta med. För att underlätta för lärare att ta fram beskrivningar av wicked problems presenterar jag här åtta forskningsbaserade designprinciper och illustrerar dem med hjälp aven beskrivning av ett aktuellt problem: coronaviruspandemin. Med hjälp av dessa principer och konkreta exempel hoppas jag att fler lärare vågar ta fram egna problembeskrivningar och använda dem i sin undervisning för att på så sätt integrera hållbarhet i fler program och kurser i högre utbildning.

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  • 24.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Wicked Problems in Engineering Education2017In: European Conference on Educational Research, Copenhagen, Denmark, 22-25 August, 2017, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the Environmental and Sustainability Education Research (ESER) community

    in how to prepare students to address wicked problems (WPs), i.e. particularly ill-structured problems that lack single right solutions

    and that are characterized by a high degree of complexity, uncertainty and the presence of conflicting norms and values (Rittel &

    Webber, 1973). In the domain of Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE), examples of WPs are climate change, resource

    scarcity and resource-related international conflict. At the 2016 ECER conference, two full symposia were devoted to research on

    WPs in ESE. Also in other fields, such as the field of Engineering Education Research, the concept of WPs is receiving increasing

    attention. However, the body of empirical research on how to prepare students to address WPs is still limited. In this contribution, I

    aim to contribute to the empirical and theoretical discussion on WPs in ESER and Engineering Education Research by providing a

    summary of my PhD thesis on WPs in engineering education.

    An important aim of my research is to contribute to educational practice. Therefore, I have chosen a pragmatic approach in which I

    have combined several different theoretical frameworks and research methodologies. Due to the lack of previous research, I started

    with conceptual/theoretical research to establish a theoretical base from which I then proceeded to empirical/applied research.

    I performed four research studies in which I investigated different aspects of WPs in engineering education. In the first study, I

    developed a conceptual foundation to better understand the nature of WPs and different ways of addressing them. Second, I

    performed an empirical study to identify different approaches to WPs. Third, I collaborated with engineering educators to identify

    fruitful ways to further develop the theoretical insights from the first two studies such that these insights could contribute to

    educational practice. Finally, I performed an intervention study to develop, implement and evaluate an approach to teaching and

    assessing an integrative understanding of WPs in an engineering education context. The research from these studies is reported in

    four journal papers and two conference papers (see references).

    Based on the studies and a review of research literature from ESER, Engineering Education Research and related fields, I will

    address the following questions in my presentation:

    1. What are WPs?

    2. What are different ways of approaching WPs and which of them is most in line with the general aims of ESE?

    3. What do engineering students need to learn to address WPs in a way that is in line with the general aims of ESE?

    4. How can understanding the nature of WPs be taught and assessed in engineering education?

    5. What questions remain?

    I used a pragmatic approach to research methodology rather than restricting the research to a single theoretical or methodological

    approach. In my presentation, I will report on four research studies. I will combine the insights gained from these studies in an

    attempt to answer more general questions about wicked problems in engineering education than would be possible for each study in

    isolation. This is possible because the studies build on each other: In the later studies, I used the results from earlier studies as a

    basis for formulating new research questions and for designing studies to answer those questions. Depending on the aims of each

    study, I chose different methodological approaches.

    In the first study, I used a conceptual/theoretical approach, supported by content analysis of qualitative interviews with ten engineering students. In the second study, I chose a phenomenographic approach, using the same empirical material as in the first study. In the third study, I used the results from the first and second study as a theoretical basis for an action research project in which I collaborated with engineering educators to identify ways to render the theoretical results from the first two studies more useful for educational practice. Finally, in the fourth study, I aimed to respond to the needs that the educators expressed in the third study. For this purpose, I used a design-based research approach to develop and evaluate an educational intervention for teaching engineering students to understand the nature of WPs, and an assessment rubric to assess students’ learning in the intervention. Both the intervention and the assessment rubric are theoretically grounded in the results from the first, second and third study. To evaluate the intervention and the rubric, I used a mixed-methods approach in which I combined quantitative analysis of student performance and rubric reliability with qualitative analysis of student learning and rubric validity and utility.

    In the first study, we developed a conceptual framework for talking about the use of multiple perspectives when addressing WPs. We further identified the need to not only shift between multiple perspectives, but also integrate those perspectives when addressing WPs. In the second study, we described four qualitatively different ways of approaching a WP. We identified one of these approaches, a fully integrative approach, as most in line with the general aims of ESE. In the third study, we identified a need to develop tools for assessing engineering students’ ability to integratively address WPs. Finally, in the fourth study, we developed an analytic rubric to assess students’ written responses to WPs, and an educational intervention that is heavily based on the rubric. In that study, we found that the rubric provided opportunities for students to learn to understand the nature of WPs and to craft written responses to WPs. We also found that the rubric could be used to assess that learning, and that it also was useful for teacher training and formative assessment. However, we also found that the rubric may have provided too much cognitive scaffolding, thus excessively guiding the process of responding to WPs and not supporting deep engagement with the wickedness of the process of addressing WPs. In conclusion, we suggested that preparing students to address WPs may require limiting the amount of cognitive scaffolding, even when students express frustration about the presence of uncertainty and value conflicts and a lack of clear directions and definite answers. We further suggested that future research should investigate the relationship between cognitive and affective scaffolding, for example whether it could be possible to replace some cognitive scaffolding with affective scaffolding to limit the negative effects of students’ frustration without having to tame the process of addressing WPs.

  • 25.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Wicked Problems in Engineering Education: Preparing Future Engineers to Work for Sustainability2019In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 25, no 12, p. 1808-1809Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An important aim of environmental and sustainability education (ESE) is to prepare students for addressing complex sustainability problems (here called “wicked problems”), such as climate change and resource management. This aim is particularly important in engineering education since technological development has profound impacts on social and environmental welfare. Unfortunately, most engineering education today does not adequately prepare students to contribute to addressing wicked problems. The thesis addressed this gap by asking: RQ1) What do engineering students need to learn to be able to address wicked problems? And RQ2) How can the ability to address wicked problems be taught and assessed in engineering education?

    To answer RQ1, the author interviewed undergraduate engineering students in Sweden analyzed the interviews through qualitative content analysis and phenomenography. To answer RQ2, the author collaborated with engineering educators in Sweden and the United States through pragmatic action research and design-based research to develop teaching and assessment approaches. Research results included descriptions of engineering students’ approaches to wicked problems as well as didactic tools for engineering education practice. The results suggested that emotions play an important (but under-research) role in learning to address wicked problems, which is consistent with a growing interest in emotions in ESE research and practice. Finally, the results supported previous suggestions that the term “wicked problems” is undertheorized and motivated the author’s current work with a systematic review of how the term is used in research on ESE.

    The thesis is interdisciplinary as it draws on, and contributes to, research and practice in both ESE and engineering education. The thesis has attracted genuine interest in the context of engineering education, for example in the form of requests for workshops on how to work with wicked problems in engineering education. This interest is consistent with a growing interest in engineering education research to explore how sustainability could be better integrated in engineering education. Unfortunately, in ESE research, there seems to be a relative lack of interest for engineering education, despite the importance of technological development for social and environmental welfare. The thesis thus makes an important contribution to broadening the scope of ESE research.

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  • 26.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Wicked Problems in Engineering Education: Preparing Future Engineers to Work for Sustainability2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Most engineering education today does not adequately prepare students to contribute to sustainability. For example, engineering students often do not learn how to address complex and ill-structured sustainability problems that involve different stakeholders, value conflicts,and uncertainty; such problems are also called wicked problems. Efforts to improve engineering education in this regard are hampered by a lack of research on how engineering education can prepare students to address wicked problems.This thesis aims to address this gap in two parts. The research described in Part 1 aimed toexplore what engineering students need to learn to be able to address wicked problems. For this purpose, a pre-study literature review and two empirical studies were conducted. For the empirical studies, engineering students were interviewed and the interviews were analyzedusing qualitative content analysis (Study 1) and a phenomenographic approach (Study 2). The research in Part 2 aimed to link the theoretical results from Part 1 to engineering education practice by focusing on teaching and assessment. The research in Part 2 comprises two empirical studies in which pragmatic action research (Study 3) and design-based research (Study 4) was used.The results of the research include (a) a description of engineering education-specific challenges in addressing wicked problems; (b) 3 descriptions of wicked problems and design principles for wicked problem descriptions; (c) description of four different approaches that engineering students have used in addressing a wicked problem; (d) 22 intended learning outcomes, 3 assessment approaches, an analytic assessment rubric, and a rubric-based intervention for students’ ability to integratively address wicked problems; (e) validity, reliability, and utility evaluations of the assessment rubric; and (f) insights about students’ performance, their approaches to wicked problems, and affordances for learning in differently scaffolded activities during the rubric-based intervention.Conclusions from the research include that an integrative approach to wicked problems is most appropriate, that students are able to use such an approach, but that they may need instructional support to do so. Conclusions further include that strong cognitive scaffoldingwith a highly detailed assessment rubric can support students’ understanding of the nature of wicked problems and students’ performance in written responses to wicked problems, but possibly also limit affordances for deep and transferable learning.

  • 27.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Adawi, T.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Holmén, J.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    When emotions are NOT outlawed: using emotional scaffolding to enhance student learning2021In: SEFI 49th Annual Conference: Blended Learning in Engineering Education: Challenging, Enlightening - and Lasting?: Proceedings, European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) , 2021, p. 1575-1579Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 28.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Adawi, T.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Holmén, J.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Workshop: When emotions are not outlawed: using emotional scaffolding to enhance student learning2021In: SEFI 49th Annual Conference: Blended Learning in Engineering Education: Challenging, Enlightening - and Lasting?: Proceedings, European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) , 2021, p. 1556-1560Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    WORKSHOP AIMS: The aim of this workshop was three-fold: (1) to introduce participants to educational emotion research and the notion of “emotional scaffolding”, (2) to provide examples of emotional scaffolding, with a special focus on engineering education for sustainable development, and (3) to let participants collaboratively develop strategies for emotional scaffolding they can use in their own teaching. 

  • 29.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Adawi, Tom
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    "I don’t want to be influenced by emotions": Engineering students' emotional positioning in discussions about wicked sustainability problems2020In: 2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), IEEE, 2020, p. 1-5, article id 9273946Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This Work-in-Progress research paper describes the results from a pilot study that aims to explore the role of emotions in engineering students’ discussions about a wicked sustainability problem, i.e. a problem that is characterized by a high degree of uncertainty and ambiguity and for which it is not possible to develop a perfect solution. There is strong evidence from educational research that emotions are important for learning at all levels of education and particularly in education related to sustainability and wicked problems. At the same time, dominant discourses and stereotypes in engineering and engineering education construct engineering as purely rational and unemotional. In this study, we explore how engineering students re-construct—but also challenge—this dominant discourse in interviews about a wicked problem. We use discourse analytic tools from positioning theory to analyze how the students construct and negotiate emotional subject positions for themselves and others. The results provide illustrative examples of how emotional positioning can strengthen and/or challenge the dominant discourse: examples from the dominant discourse illustrate how students position emotions as irrelevant or even detrimental for engineering work, while examples from the counter-discourse illustrate how students sometimes construct emotions as part of what it means to be an engineer and as important for engineering work.

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  • 30.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Adawi, Tom
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Using Positioning Theory to Study the Role of Emotions in Engineering Problem Solving: Methodological Issues and Recommendations for Future Research2021In: Studies in Engineering Education, ISSN 2690-5450, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 53-79Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Engineering is often portrayed as a purely rational discipline, where emotions are considered irrelevant to problem solving. Also, in-depth research on emotions in engineering education is scarce, and most of the existing studies take their theoretical departure in individual and cognitivist perspectives. There is thus a need for emotion research from social interactionist perspectives—such as positioning theory.

    Purpose: This methodological paper aims to (1) develop an analytical framework for studying emotions through positioning theory and multimodal analysis, (2) illustrate its use in engineering education research, and (3) discuss methodological issues and offer recommendations for this type of research in engineering education.

    Method: To develop the analytical framework, we engaged with philosophical and empirical literature on positioning theory and emotions, as well as empirical data from a pilot study on engineering students’ emotional positioning in individual, video-recorded interviews about a wicked sustainability problem. We illustrate the application of the framework and multimodal analysis using three extracts from that data. In line with positioning theory, the analysis focuses on how emotional moral orders are activated and negotiated. Three units of analysis are used: emotion acts, emotional storylines, and emotional positions.

    Results: The analysis shows how a dominant storyline of engineering as purely rational can be reconstructed, but also how a competing storyline of emotions as important for engineering can be constructed, sometimes simultaneously. These findings disrupt simplified narratives about engineers as unemotional and show that there are multiple ways of engaging with emotions in engineering problem solving.

    Conclusions: We conclude that positioning theory holds much potential for exploring a wide range of social interactional phenomena in engineering education. More research is needed to explore additional types, levels, and orders of emotional positioning to further nuance our understanding of the role of emotions in engineering education.

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  • 31.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Adawi, Tom
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Holmén, Johan
    Taking emotions seriously in sustainability education: A theoretical exploration of “emotional scaffolding” and how it can be used in research and practice2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Research has shown that emotions profoundly affect teaching and learning in all disciplines and at all levels of education. Emotions may be particularly important in environmental and sustainability education (ESE) due the seriousness and complexity of sustainability concerns and the presence of conflicting norms and values (Lönngren, Adawi, & Svanström, 2019; Ojala, 2015). For example, emotions may motivate students and teachers to engage in discussions about controversial topics (such as climate change) and guide judgment and decision-making in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity. However, they may also lead to denial of uncomfortable knowledge (Bossér & Lindahl, 2019; Ojala, 2013). 

    Despite the importance of emotions in ESE, research on this topic is only emerging at this point. In addition, most of the existing research focuses on emotions as individual and private phenomena (Zembylas, 2007), such as hope or individual emotional regulation. However, research also suggests that expressing emotions in social contexts may play an important role in ESE. Emotions are closely related to personal values and explicating personal values is important in ESE (Ojala, 2013). An interesting theoretical concept for exploring emotions in ESE as social and relational phenomena is “emotional scaffolding” (also called affective scaffolding), which refers to pedagogical support teachers provide to influence students’ emotions in order to improve learning (Rosiek, 2003). While emotional scaffolding has been used previously (Park, 2016; van de Pol, Volman, & Beishuizen, 2010), we argue that it is conceptualized in a narrow way and remains under-theorized. Specifically, the current definition of emotional scaffolding seems to be based on a narrow empirical context or a narrow set of identified discursive practices, and it ignores recent theory and research on emotions in education. 

    In this theoretical contribution, we draw on a nascent body of research on emotional scaffolding across various disciplines as well as a typology of academic emotions to (1) develop a broader and more theoretically informed definition of emotional scaffolding, (2) explore ways of researching emotional scaffolding, and (3) suggest ways of drawing out educational implications from research on emotional scaffolding. 

    Method: To this end, we start from Rosiek’s widely cited definition of emotional scaffolding as “teachers’ pedagogical use of analogies, metaphors, and narratives to influence students’ emotional response to specific aspects of the subject matter in a way that promotes student learning” (Rosiek, 2003, p. 402). We broaden and unpack this definition in four important ways. First, to broaden it beyond the “use of analogies, metaphors, and narratives”, we identify additional tools and strategies teachers can use, such as acknowledging and validating expression of emotions (Ojala, 2013; Park, 2016), providing encouragement and reassurance (Lönngren et al., 2019; Meyer & Turner, 2007), adjusting subject content to students’ needs (Lönngren, 2017; McCaughtry, 2004), and building positive relationships in the classroom (Ojala, 2013; Park, 2016). Second, to unpack the definition of “emotional response”, we draw on research describing different types of emotional responses, such as emotional experiences (e.g. confidence rather than anxiety) or expressions (e.g. expressing trust or engagement) (Meyer & Turner, 2007; van de Pol et al., 2010). Third, to broaden the definition beyond students’ emotional response to “subject matter”, we use Pekrun and Linnenbrink-Garcia’s (2012) typology of academic emotions, according to which emotional responses to subject matter can be described as topic emotions. The typology contains three additional types of academic emotions that are relevant for emotional scaffolding: achievement emotions (i.e. emotions related to students’ perception of their academic performance, such as worry about not being able to provide a perfect solution to a sustainability problem), epistemic emotions (i.e. emotions related to the process of learning, such as grappling with uncertainty and ambiguity), and social emotions (i.e. emotions related to classroom interaction and social relationships). Finally, we adopt a critical lens to unpack the overall aim of emotional scaffolding — what it could mean that emotional scaffolding in ESE “promotes student learning”. Here, we ask questions such as “What types of learning?” and “Learning for whom?”. 

    Based on our broadened definition of emotional scaffolding, we then explore ways of researching emotional scaffolding in terms of possible types of research questions, empirical contexts, and methods for data collection and analysis. This includes how we are planning to use positioning theory (Harré & van Langenhove, 1999) to explore emotional scaffolding in ESE in the context of engineering education. We also explore what types of results could be obtained and how those results could be made useful in and for ESE practice. 

    Expected outcomes: In conclusion, this theoretical contribution seeks to take stock of the current understanding of emotional scaffolding, develop a broader and more theoretically informed definition of emotional scaffolding, and draw out implications for educational research and practice. We argue that emotional scaffolding is conceptualized in a narrow way and remains under-theorized: It fails to recognize the wide range of pedagogical tools and strategies teachers can use to influence a variety of types of students’ emotional responses. Most notably, emotional responses should be broadened to include all four types of academic emotions: topic emotions, achievement emotions, epistemic emotions, and social emotions. Our broadened definition of emotional scaffolding opens up a large array of research questions that should be highly relevant not only for ESE but also for educational research more broadly. 

    References 

    Bossér, U., & Lindahl, M. (2019). Students’ Positioning in the Classroom: a Study of Teacher-Student Interactions in a Socioscientific Issue Context. Research in Science Education, 49, 371-390. 

    Harré, R., & van Langenhove, L. (1999). Positioning Theory: Moral Contexts of Intentional Action. Malden: Blackwell. 

    Lönngren, J. (2017). Wicked Problems in Engineering Education: Preparing Future Engineers to Work for Sustainability. Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg. 

    Lönngren, J., Adawi, T., & Svanström, M. (2019). Scaffolding strategies in a rubric-based intervention to promote engineering students’ ability to address wicked problems. European Journal of Engineering Education, 44(1-2), 196-221. 

    McCaughtry, N. (2004). The Emotional Dimensions of a Teacher’s Pedagogical Content Knowledge: Influences on Content, Curriculum, and Pedagogy. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 23, 30-47. 

    Meyer, D. K., & Turner, J. C. (2007). Scaffolding Emotions in Classrooms. In P. A. Schutz & R. Pekrun (Eds.), Emotion in Education (pp. 243-258). Cambridge: Academic Press. 

    Ojala, M. (2013). Emotional Awareness: On the Importance of Including Emotional Aspects in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 7(2), 167-182. 

    Ojala, M. (2015). Hope in the Face of Climate Change: Associations With Environmental Engagement and Student Perceptions of Teachers’ Emotion Communication Style and Future Orientation. The Journal of Environmental Education, 46(3), 133-148. 

    Park, M.-H. (2016). Emotional Scaffolding as a Strategy to Support Children's Engagement in Instruction. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 4(10), 2353-2358. Abstract till European Conference of Education Research (ECER) 2021 

    Pekrun, R., & Linnenbrink-Garcia, L. (2012). Academic Emotions and Student Engagement. In S. Christenson, A. Reschly, & C. Wylie (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Student Engagement. Boston: Springer. 

    Rosiek, J. (2003). Emotional Scaffolding: An Exploration of The Teacher Knowledge at the Intersection of Student Emotion and the Subject Matter. Journal of Teacher Education, 54(5), 399-412. 

    van de Pol, J., Volman, M., & Beishuizen, J. (2010). Scaffolding in Teacher-Student Interaction: A Decade of Research. Educational Psychology Review, 22, 271-296. 

    Zembylas, M. (2007). The Power and Politics of Emotions in Teaching. In P. A. Schutz & R. Pekrun (Eds.), Emotion in Education (pp. 293-309). Cambridge: Academic Press. 

  • 32.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Adawi, Tom
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Huff, James
    Harding University.
    Murzi, Homero
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
    Direito, Ines
    University College London.
    Tormey, Roland
    École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
    Sultan, Ulrika
    Linköpings universitet.
    Emotions in engineering education: Towards a research agenda2020In: 2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), IEEE, 2020, p. 1-5, article id 9273951Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This Work-in-Progress research paper describes preliminary work on a research agenda for emotions in engineering education. Emotions play an important role for teaching and learning in engineering education, but research on the topic is scarce. To spur research in this area, the authors participate in an international collaboration that aims to map existing research, identify questions that are under-researched, and outline important questions for future research on emotions in engineering education. In this paper, we describe preliminary work that has been done in preparation of an international symposium during which a first draft of the research agenda on emotions in engineering education will be developed. At FIE 2020, we will present both this preparatory work and the agenda itself.

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  • 33.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Adawi, Tom
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Holmén, Johan
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    When emotions are NOT outlawed: Using emotional scaffolding to enhance student learning2021In: Blended Learning in Engineering Education: challenging, enlightening – and lasting?: SEFI 49th Annual Conference, Proceedings / [ed] Hans-Ulrich Heiß; Hannu-Matti Järvinen; Annette Mayer; Alexandra Schulz, Société européenne pour la formation des ingénieurs (SEFI) , 2021, p. 1556-1560Conference paper (Refereed)
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  • 34.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Adawi, Tom
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Scaffolding strategies in a rubric-based intervention to promote engineering students’ ability to address wicked problems2019In: European Journal of Engineering Education, ISSN 0304-3797, E-ISSN 1469-5898, Vol. 44, no 1-2, p. 196-221Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, there has been increasing interest within the engineering education research community to prepare engineering students to address wicked problems (WPs) such as climate change, resource scarcity and violent conflict. Previous research suggests that engineering students are able to address WPs if they are given adequate support, but there is a lack of research on what kinds of support are needed. This paper aims to reduce this gap by reporting on students’ performance in, and approaches to, addressing WPs when different scaffolding strategies were used in different parts of a rubric-based intervention. The intervention aimed to provide undergraduate engineering students with an understanding of the nature of WPs and with a structured way of addressing them. For each part of the intervention, we discuss affordances for learning provided by the different scaffolding strategies. The results suggest that strong cognitive scaffolding can support students’ understanding of the nature of WPs and students’ performance in written responses to WPs, but possibly also limits deep engagement with WPs and transfer of learning to other contexts.

  • 35.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Adawi, Tom
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Wicked problems and assessment in engineering education: Developing and evaluating an analytic rubric2017In: 7th Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES 2017): Research in Engineering Education, Research In Engineering Education Network , 2017, p. 678-691Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research indicates that engineering education does not adequately prepare students to address complex, ill-structured, real-world problems, such as wicked problems (WPs), and that one reason for this may be a lack of robust assessment instruments. In recent years, assessment rubrics have been developed and evaluated for a variety of learning outcomes, but no rigorously tested rubric has yet been developed for assessing engineering students’ ability to integratively address WPs. The aim of this paper is to fill this gap by introducing an analytic rubric for assessing engineering students’ written responses to WPs and evaluating its reliability, validity, and utility. The results suggest that the rubric can support reliable and valid assessment if raters are carefully trained. The utility of the rubric for formative assessment and teacher professional development was most prominent.

  • 36.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Lund University, Faculty of Engineering (LTH).
    Ahrens, Andreas
    Lund University, Faculty of Engineering (LTH).
    Deppert, Knut
    Lund University, Faculty of Engineering (LTH).
    Hammarin, Greger
    Lund University, Faculty of Engineering (LTH).
    Nilsson, Elisabeth
    Lund University, Faculty of Engineering (LTH).
    Sustainable Development in Nano-Perspectives: An Innovative Student Initiative2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper describes and discusses a novel class for sustainable development at the faculty of engineering at Lund University, Sweden. Based on personal experience and student questionnaires, the study discusses applied pedagogical approaches (case study, role play, matrix approach) and suggests improvements to the structure of the class. The project is a student initiative, making student involvement and its effects on learning for sustainable development central topics of this paper, thereby challenging the notion of engineering students as passive receivers of education for sustainable development.

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  • 37.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Bellocchi, Alberto
    Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
    Bøgelund, Pia
    Aalborg University, Denmark.
    Direito, Inês
    University College London, UK.
    Huff, James
    Harding University, USA.
    Mohd-Yusof, Khairiyah
    Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia.
    Murzi, Homero
    Virginia Tech, USA.
    Tormey, Roland
    École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Emotions in engineering education: Preliminary results from a scoping review2021In: 9th research in engineering education symposium and 32nd australasian association for engineering education conference (REES AAEE 2021): Engineering education research capability development / [ed] Sally Male; Andrew Guzzomi, Research In Engineering Education Network , 2021, Vol. 2, p. 641-650Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    CONTEXT: There is today a broad consensus that emotions influence all forms of teaching and learning, and scholarship on Emotions in Engineering Education (EEE) is an emerging and rapidly growing field. However, this nascent research is currently very dispersed and not well consolidated. There is also a lack of knowledge about the state of the art, strengths, and limitations of the existing literature in the field, gaps, and future avenues for research.

    PURPOSE: We have conducted a scoping review of EEE research, aiming to provide a first overview of the EEE scholarship landscape. We report here on preliminary findings related to (1) the status of the field, (2) geographical representation of authors, and (3) emerging hot spots and blind spots in terms of research approaches, contexts, and topics.

    METHODS: The scoping review is part of a larger, systematic review of the EEE literature. Using an inclusive search strategy, we retrieved 2,175 items mentioning emotions and engineering education, including common synonyms. Through abstract screening and full text sifting, we identified 184 items that significantly focus on engineering education and emotion. From these items, we extracted and synthesized basic quantitative and qualitative information on publication outlets, author origins, keywords, research approaches, and research contexts.

    PRELIMINARY RESULTS: Surprised by the large number of EEE publications, we found that EEE is a rapidly expanding, but internationally dispersed field. Preliminary results also suggest a dominance of research on higher education, often exploring students’ academic emotions or emotional competences. Research on emotional intelligence and anxiety is particularly common while studies focusing on cultural and sociological aspects of EEE are largely absent.

    CONCLUSIONS: The EEE literature is expanding exponentially. However, the field is not well consolidated, and many blind spots remain to be explored in terms of research approaches, contexts, and foci. To accelerate the development of the field, we invite current and prospective EEE researchers to join our emerging, international community of EEE researchers.

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  • 38.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Adawi, Tom
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Empati men inte känslor: Ingenjörsstudenters konfliktfyllda emotionella positionering i diskussioner om komplexa hållbarhetsproblem2021In: Nordisk forskningskonferanse om bærekraft i utdanning. Torsdag 21 oktober - fredag 22 oktober 2021, Universitetet i Oslo: Abstracts, 2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Introduksjon, mål og problemstilling(er): Känslor spelar en viktig roll i lärande för hållbar utveckling och forskning i ämnet expanderar fort. Det mesta av forskningen har hittills studerat känslor ur ett individuellt och kognitivt perspektiv, som något individer upplever, kontrollerar och uttrycker. Men känslor uppstår inte bara i individers huvuden utan även i social interaktion. Känslor konstrueras, ges mening och värderas i samspel mellan människor. Känslor konstrueras också alltid i relation till normer och värderingar som råder i, till exempel, undervisningskontexten eller det omgivande samhället. Det här bidraget beskriver ett analytiskt ramverk, baserat på positionsteori, för att studera känslor i interaktion. Ramverket illustreras med resultat från en pilotstudie om hur ingenjörsstudenters diskuterar känslors roll i hanteringen av ett komplext hållbarhetsproblem.

    Teoretiske og metodologiske utgangspunkter: Positionsteori bygger på ett antagande om att människor, i interaktion, förhandlar om sina egna och andras rättigheter och skyldigheter i relation till varandra och till samhället. På det viset kombineras ett mikrofokus på social interaktion med ett makrofokus på normer och värderingar i organisationer eller samhället. En uppsättning rättigheter och skyldigheter benämns ”position” och människor positionerar både sig själva och varandra. Positioner utgör en av tre analysenheter i positionsteori. Den andra analysenheten utgörs av människors användning av språk och icke-verbal kommunikation i interaktionen (”communication acts”) samt kulturella narrativ som ger mening åt interaktionen (”storylines”). I utbildningsvetenskap kan positionsteori till exempel användas för att studera hur studenter och lärare tillskrivs möjligheter och skyldigheter att delta i lärandeaktiviteter eller hur de får använda och skapa olika former av kunskap. I det här bidraget fokuserar vi på hur ingenjörsstudenter tillskriver sig själva rättigheter och skyldigheter att ta hänsyn till känslor i hanteringen av ett komplext hållbarhetsproblem.

    Metode, data og analyseprosess: För att kunna studera känslor utifrån ett positionsteoretiskt perspektiv har vi först utvecklat ett analytiskt ramverk som applicerar positionsteorins tre analysenheter på känslor. Ramverket definierar därmed (1) ”emotion acts” som en typ av communication acts, men där det analytiska fokuset riktas mot hur just känslor uttrycks och används i interaktion, (2) emotionella positioner (”emotional positions”) som uppsättningar av rättigheter och skyldigheter att utföra vissa typer av emotion acts, men inte andra, och (3) emotionella narrativ (”emotional storylines”) som den mening som skapas när emotion acts används. För att i detalj kunna analysera emotion acts har vi också utvecklat en metod för multimodal transkribering som representerar och illustrerar inte bara vad som sägs och hur, utan även gester och ansiktsuttryck. Sedan har vi applicerat vårt ramverk på tio videoinspelade intervjuer med ingenjörsstudenter som ombads att diskutera ett komplext hållbarhetsproblem. För det här bidraget har vi valt ut tre empiriska exempel för att illustrera vårt analytiska ramverk och vår metod för multimodal transkribering.

    Foreløpige og endelige funn: Vi har identifierat två kontrasterande emotionella narrativ om vilken roll känslor bör spela när hållbarhetsproblem ska lösas ur ett ingenjörsperspektiv: (1) Känslor är irrelevanta och/eller störande vid teknisk problemlösning, och (2) Känslor är relevant och/eller viktiga vid teknisk problemlösning. I relation till dessa narrativ har studenterna i studien positionerat sig som rationella problemlösare och/eller empatiska människor. I ett av de utvalda exemplen brottas studenten med att försöka positionera sig som BÅDE rationell (utan känslor) OCH empatisk. Vi noterar att studenter kan hamna i en nästintill omöjlig position när de upplever att de förväntas vara rationella och emotionella samtidigt. Det verkar alltså finnas ett behov att nyansera de emotionella narrativen i ingenjörsutbildningar och att explicit diskutera känslors roll i teknisk problemlösning med studenterna. Eftersom studenterna i studien har identifierat empati som relevant och viktig föreslår vi att empati kan vara en lämplig ingång för att få acceptans för den typen av samtal i ingenjörsutbildningar.

  • 39.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Berge, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Holmén, Johan
    Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Learning for an unknown future: emotional positioning in and for expansive learning2023Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    STUDY OVERVIEW AND PURPOSE: We live in troubled times. Faced with increasingly serious and urgent, wicked sustainability challenges (Lönngren & van Poeck, 2021; United Nations, 2015), such as climate change, pandemics, and violent conflict , more and more people experience anxiety, hopelessness, and worries about the future (Barrineau et al., 2022; Ojala et al., 2021; Pihkala, 2020). The United Nations’ Agenda 2030 with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs; United Nations, 2015) may offer a comforting illusion of a yellow brick road to a known and livable future. Yet, complex systems studies have shown that the future is not only unknown but ultimately unknowable (Dewulf & Biesbroek, 2018; Funtowicz & Ravetz, 1993). In light of such radical uncertainty, Barrineau et al. (2022) argued that environmental and sustainability education (ESE) is not only about “promoting [pre-defined] skills and competencies in sustainability education with which to equip students to tackle sustainability challenges” (p.3) since we do not know yet what competencies they will need. The only thing we know for certain is that future generations will need to develop knowledge, skills, and practices that are different from those we know today, that is, those that have given rise to our current predicaments. In other words, students need to “learn something that is not yet there” (Engeström & Sannino, 2010, p. 2).

    In recent years, a range of educational theories and concepts that touch upon this type of learning have increased in popularity. For example, Engeström et al. (Engeström et al., 2022; Engeström & Sannino, 2010) have drawn on cultural historical activity theory to examine expansive learningprocesses that allow learners to develop “expanded pattern[s] of activity, corresponding theoretical concept[s], and new types of agency” (Engeström & Sannino, 2010, p. 7). Similarly, Barrineau et al. (2022) have described emergentist education as a form of teaching and learning that engages with “the possibilities of the not-yet-imagined” (p.2). Others have described related theories, such as transformative and transgressive social learning as crucially important in ESE (Lotz-Sisitka et al., 2015).

    These and other traditions of transformative and expansive learning theories have in common that they attend to the role of social interaction for learning, stressing that learning always takes place in social contexts (Lenglet, 2022; Lotz-Sisitka et al., 2015; Van Poeck et al., 2020). Another common thread through many approaches is an attention to spirituality, affect, and/or emotions (Hoggan, 2016; Lenglet, 2022; Lotz-Sisitka et al., 2015). For example, Hoggan (2016) argued that learners must be “emotionally capable of change” (p. 61), pay attention to emotional experiences, and learn to utilize emotional ways of knowing. Similarly, Östman et al. (2019) have used pragmatist theories to argue that strong embodied experiences can trigger transformative learning. This intersection between expansive learning, social interaction, and emotions is the focus of our contribution.

    The aim of our study is to explore how expansive learning can manifest in and through emotional interaction when student groups engage with wicked sustainability challenges. To do so, we draw on positioning theory as a theoretical tool that allows us to study emotions as a form of social interaction (Harré & van Langenhove, 1999) rather than something individuals have and experience. More specifically, we explore processes of emotional positioning (Lönngren et al., 2021; Lönngren & Berge, forthcoming), analyzing how students use emotions discursively to position themselves – and each other – in relation to their (expansive) learning and (future) agency to work for sustainable and desired futures.

    METHODS: Emotions can be expressed through a wide range of modalities (e.g., speech, gestures, facial expressions, intonation, bodily positions). Therefore, multimodal approaches are particularly suitable for studying how emotions are expressed and used in social interaction (Goodwin et al., 2012; Hufnagel & Kelly, 2018; Lönngren & Berge, forthcoming). For this study, we video-recorded group work conducted by four groups of engineering students. The group work sessions took place during two sustainability courses for engineering students at two Swedish universities and they were part of the students’ regular course work. No researchers were present during the sessions, but teachers entered each room occasionally to check on the groups’ progress. In total, we recorded approximately 70 hours of video data. To analyze the data, we first watched all recordings (~70h) to familiarize ourselves with the data. Thereafter, we formulated sensitizing concepts (consensus/dissensus, convergence/divergence, comfort/vulnerability, intensity, and social positions) to narrow our focus on situations in which we could study emotional positioning and/or expansive learning processes. The sensitizing concepts allowed us to select a smaller number of excerpts for in-depth analysis. For each excerpt, we then developed narrative descriptions of any processes of expansivity and expansive learning we could observe. Finally, we applied the analytic tools of positioning theory to make sense of the ways in which students used emotions discursively while engaging (or not) in expansive learning.

    PRELIMINARY FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS: Our preliminary findings point to multiple ways in which emotional positioning could facilitate expansive learning during group engagement with wicked challenges. For example, when students suggested norm-breaking methods or solution approaches, other students could validate those ideas by listening attentively and expressing excitement. By validating unconventional ideas, the students also positioned themselves and each other as expansive learners with rights and duties to reach beyond known approaches and solutions. In other excerpts, we observed high levels of emotional congruence between the group members. When one student laughed, others would often join in. In other instances, students would fall silent simultaneously, much like a general pause in an orchestra concert. By enacting these and other forms of emotional congruence, the students could co-construct their group as a team – working together, building on each other’s ideas, and taking collective responsibility for any outcomes they produced. Thus, they also constructed a shared safety-net, reducing perceived risks associated with expansive learning: If the outcomes of their work had turned out to be flawed or ridiculed by others, they could have shared the burden of the perceived (!) failure and helped each other focus on the exceptional learning they had achieved. These findings demonstrate how students could use emotions discursively to position themselves and each other as (a) students who can and should engage in expansive learning, and (b) sustainability agents who can and should contribute to developing innovative solutions to wicked issues. The findings also show how emotions expressed in interaction can have profound impacts on learning, which further stresses the importance of more ESE research on emotions in and as social interaction. A better understanding of emotional interaction in ESE would also support educators in developing teaching and learning environments conducive to expansive learning.

  • 40.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Direito, Inês
    University College London, UK.
    Tormey, Roland
    École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Huff, James
    Harding University, USA.
    Emotions in engineering education2023In: International handbook of engineering education research / [ed] Aditya Johri, New York: Routledge, 2023, 1, p. 156-182Chapter in book (Refereed)
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  • 41.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Ingerman, Åke
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Avoid, Control, Succumb, or Balance: Engineering Students’ Approaches to a Wicked Sustainability Problem2017In: Research in science education, ISSN 0157-244X, E-ISSN 1573-1898, Vol. 47, no 4, p. 805-831Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Wicked sustainability problems (WSPs) are an important and particularly challenging type of problem. Science and engineering education can play an important role in preparing students to deal with such problems, but current educational practice may not adequately prepare students to do so. We address this gap by providing insights related to students’ abilities to address WSPs. Specifically, we aim to (I) describe key constituents of engineering students’ approaches to a WSP, (II) evaluate these approaches in relation to the normative context of education for sustainable development (ESD), and (III) identify relevant aspects of learning related to WSPs. Aim I is addressed through a phenomenographic study, while aims II and III are addressed by relating the results to research literature about human problem solving, sustainable development, and ESD. We describe four qualitatively different ways of approaching a specific WSP, as the outcome of the phenomenographic study: A. Simplify and avoid, B. Divide and control, C. Isolate and succumb, and D. Integrate and balance. We identify approach D as the most appropriate approach in the context of ESD, while A and C are not. On this basis, we identify three learning objectives related to students’ abilities to address WSPs: learn to use a fully integrative approach, distinguish WSPs from tame and well-structured problems, and understand and consider the normative context of SD. Finally, we provide recommendations for how these learning objectives can be used to guide the design of science and engineering educational activities.

  • 42.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Jacobsson, Daniel
    Lunds universitet.
    Mårsell, Erik
    Lunds universitet.
    Nilsson, Elisabeth
    Lunds universitet.
    Breaking Catch22 of Engineering Education for Sustainable Development: An Example of Parallell Learning of Teachers and Students2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Both research and practical experience show that teachers have trouble implementing Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) (Bursjöö 2011), especially in engineering education where a culture of value-neutrality and objectivity still seems to prevail (see for example Holmberg et al 2008). Consequently, the integration of ESD into engineerig curricula is often insufficient in respect to requirements set up by the Swedish Higher Education Act: graduates of engineering are expected to possess complex skills connected to ethics and sustainable development (Högskoleförordningen 1993).

    The purpose of this presentation is to provide a positive example of how these problems have been overcome in a specific engineering program at Lund University. We discuss the introduction of an innovative course by a group of students and faculty without substantive prior expertise or experience in Engineering Education for Sustainable Delopment (EESD).

     We (some of the course developers/course leaders) use collaborative action research methodology to discuss similarities and differences in teachers’ (ours) and students’ learning in the process of creating and subsequently improving this specific EESD-intervention. Our analysis is based on personal reflections and focus group discussions by the course developers/course leaders,  as well as students’ course evaluations from three consecutive years, and EESD litterature.

    As an analytical lens, we use the concept of Communities of Practice(CoP). We identify two levels of CoPs: 1. The team of teachers (senior teachers in collaboration with highly motivated students) working with the course over the years, and 2. All actors involved in each years’ course cycle. This includes both a group of teachers and the enroled students. In relation to these CoPs, we also identify two (partly overlapping) cycles of action learningwhich relate, respectively, to the course development over the years, and our work with each specific course cycle. The purpose of this analysis and discussion is to uncover parallell learning of teachers and students as the course evolves.

    Another purpose is to facilitate the implementation of EESD. Therefore, we also reflect on the perceived prerequisite of teachers’ expertise for teaching sustainable development in engineering curricula. We discuss the specific conditions that allowed the creation and execution of our course with the aim to empower other teachers to venture on the undertaking of EESD in their courses by trusting the development of their own skills “by doing EESD”. Thus we hope to contribute to an icnreased integration of ESD into engineering programs in Sweden and abroad.

  • 43.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Assessing "Wicked Sustainability Problem" - Literacy in Engineering Education2015In: 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, The American Society for Engineering Education, 2015, Vol. 17, p. 13920-13932Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmental and sustainability problems are not purely technical problems. Many of the most pressing issues, such as climate change, resource scarcity, and pollution, require holistic approaches that go beyond technical systems analysis and optimization. Such problems have been called wicked sustainability problems (WSPs) because they are highly complex, contested, and lack definite solutions1,2.

    Engineering education has the potential to play an important role in preparing students to contribute to deal with problems such as WSP3,4. To be able to contribute in this way, students need to develop an ability to holistically and integratively understand and address WSPs while considering the normative context of sustainable development (here called WSP literacy). However, common practice in engineering education more commonly prepares students to address well-structured and tame rather than wicked problems5,6 . One reason may be that working together to develop complex competencies such as WSP literacy is challenging for students as well as educators. Wiek, Withycombe, and Redman suggest that formulating and operationalizing intended learning outcomes (ILOs) for complex competencies can facilitate this difficult process and thus improve engineering education practice4.

    In this paper, we provide a preliminary matrix of 22 concrete ILOs for WSP literacy, as well as two different approaches to assessing (some of) them in engineering education. We expect that engineering educators will find these ILOs and assessment strategies valuable for adopting a constructive alignment approach for WSP literacy in their teaching.

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  • 44.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Developing activities for assessing “wicked sustainability problem”-literacy: a collaborative action research approach2016In: European Conference on Educational Research, Dublin, Ireland, 23-26 August, 2016, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The world faces increasingly complex and “wicked” challenges to sustainability, such as climate change, resource scarcity, global health problems, or pollution. One of the main goals of environmental and sustainability education (ESE), especially in higher education, should therefore be to prepare students to deal with such wicked sustainability problems (WSPs) in productive, proactive, just, responsible, and flexible ways. In this project, we call students’ ability to deal with WSPs in such ways “WSP-literacy” (c.f. authors 2015). 

     

    The overall aim of our project was to develop concrete, practical approaches to ESE that can support (engineering) students’ development of WSP-literacy. In conversations about the results from previous theoretical work on how engineering students approach WSPs (authors, forthcoming), engineering educators identified a lack of adequate assessment activities as one important factor that currently may inhibit better education for WSP-literacy. This finding is in line with a basic assumption in constructive alignment theory (Biggs 1996; Biggs 2014): that assessment activities not only serve to trackstudent learning, but actually influencestudent learning and that they therefore not should be treated as an afterthought in designing educational programs.

    To address the lack of adequate assessment activities for WSP-literacy, we have chosen to work together with ESE practitioners. We held three workshops in different settings: at a local seminar with ESE practitioners in 2014, at a local pedagogical conference at a technical university in 2015, and at an international conference with engineering ESE practitioners and researchers in 2016. We summarized and refined the results from each workshop and used them as a starting point for the following workshop. In that way, we facilitated educators’ work with developing, first, a matrix of intended learning outcomes, and second, concrete examples of how these learning outcomes could be assessed. 

    In our presentation, we will describe the research process, the learning outcomes, and selected examples of assessment activities. We will also attempt to draw conclusions about common features of promising assessment activities. This could guide further development of activities for a range of specific contexts, as well as further research into what characterizes “good” assessment in ESE. 

     

    Our project was carried out mainly in the context of engineering education, but since WSPs in themselves cannot be reduced to single disciplinary approaches, we expect the results to be valuable to ESE in a broad range of higher education programs.

  • 45.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Department of Applied IT, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
    Systems thinking for dealing with wicked sustainability problems: beyond functionalist approaches2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

     Many of the most pressing sustainability issues are not purely technical problems. To work for

    sustainable development (SD) requires addressing wicked sustainability problems (WSPs), such as

    climate change, poverty, and resource scarcity. Previous research has shown that addressing WSPs is

    challenging for engineering students. In particular, students may feel overwhelmed by a WSP if they lack

    appropriate tools for dealing with the complexity, uncertainty, and value conflicts that are present in the

    situation. In this paper, we aim to investigate whether systems thinking competence (ST) can provide

    such a tool in engineering education for sustainable development (EESD). For this purpose, we elaborate

    on previous descriptions of WSPs, and draw on (E)ESD literature about ST to discuss different

    approaches to ST and their usefulness for addressing WSPs. We conclude that ST indeed can be

    valuable for addressing WSPs, but that it is necessary to be clear about how ST is defined. We suggest

    that mainstream approaches to ST in engineering education (EngE) are not sufficient for addressing WSPs.

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  • 46.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Systems thinking for dealing with wicked sustainability problems: beyond functionalist approaches2016In: New developments in engineering education for sustainable development / [ed] Walter Leal Filho and Susan Nesbit, Springer, 2016, p. 151-160Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many of the most pressing sustainability issues are not purely technical problems. To work for sustainable development (SD) requires addressing wicked sustainability problems (WSPs), such as climate change, poverty, and resource scarcity. Previous research has shown that addressing WSPs is challenging for engineering students. In particular, students may feel overwhelmed by a WSP if they lack appropriate tools for dealing with the complexity, uncertainty, and value conflicts that are present in the situation. In this paper, we aim to investigate whether systems thinking competence (ST) can provide such a tool in engineering education for sustainable development (EESD). For this purpose, we elaborate on previous descriptions of WSPs, and draw on (E)ESD literature about ST to discuss different approaches to ST and their usefulness for addressing WSPs. We conclude that ST indeed can be valuable for addressing WSPs, but that it is necessary to be clear about how ST is defined. We suggest that mainstream approaches to ST in engineering education (EngE) are not sufficient for addressing WSPs.

  • 47.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Transboundary Learning through Perspective Shift: Introducing a Theoretical Model of Perspective Shift as a Key Competence in Engineering Education for Sustainable Development2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) literature, perspective shiftis frequently mentioned as a key competence in ESD (see for example UNECE 2011, Wals 2010, Wals & Blaze Corcoran 2006, Svanström et al 2008, Tilbury 2011). ESD scholars point out the importance of designing teaching and learning activities which can help draw students’ attention to, and facilitate their understanding of, different perspectives. There is however a lack of concrete descriptions on how this ability to shift perspectives can be understood; this makes designing specific educational activities a difficult task.

    In this paper, we provide a model of perspective shift as a competence in Engineering ESD (EESD) and discuss how this competence can facilitate transboundary learning (TBL) and understanding. Our model is based on two separate studies in the context of Engineering Education. The first study is carried out within an undergraduate engineering course on sustainable development in which the course leaders actively try to incorporate as many different perspectives as possible. This study is based on in-depth interviews with course participants, video-recordings of group discussions in role play situations, student assignments, and personal observations. In the second study, doctoral students’ concept maps of their conceptualization of “Sustainability” are analyzed. The findings from both studies are combined to create a rich description of perspective shift in EESD.

    We identify three levels of TBL which can be facilitated by practicing different kinds of perspective shift: 1. crossing thematic boundaries such as intercultural, interdisciplinary, intergenerational, or interspatial boundaries; different scales and foci; or different ways of thinking; 2. crossing interpersonal boundaries; and 3. crossing boundaries of personal knowledge and experience horizons.

    It is our hope that this work can facilitate discussions about, and practical improvement of, teaching and learning activities for perspective shift, and thus transboundary learning, in both Engineering Education and in other settings.

  • 48.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Svanström, Magdalena
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Ingerman, Åke
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Holmberg, John
    Chalmers tekniska högskola.
    Dealing with the multidimensionality of sustainability through the use of multiple perspectives: a theoretical framework2016In: European Journal of Engineering Education, ISSN 0304-3797, E-ISSN 1469-5898, Vol. 41, no 3, p. 342-352Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The concept of perspectives is important in discussions about the multidimensionality of sustainability problems and the need to consider many different aspects when dealing with them. This paper aims to facilitate discussions among both educators and researchers about didactical approaches to developing students’ abilities to deal with the multidimensionality of sustainability challenges through the use of multiple perspectives. For this purpose, a theoretical framework was developed that describes perspectives in terms of a set of general characteristics, as well as a number of ways in which students can develop and reflect on perspectives. Development of the framework was supported by a qualitative content analysis of transcripts from interviews with undergraduate engineering students in Sweden.

  • 49.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Tormey, Roland
    École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Roundtable discussion: Why should CDIO-programs and educators care about emotions?2023Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 50.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    van Poeck, Katrien
    Ghent University.
    A case for constructivist perspectives on ‘wickedness’: Problem structure as essential characteristic versus political tool2021In: ICPP5, 5th International Conference on Public Policy: Abstracts, 2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we engage with the question whether problem structure, particularly ‘wickedness’, should be approached as something that is inherent in the problem as an essential characteristic versus something that is constructed in practice, as a result of how a problem is approached (presented or experienced). We do so by drawing on (1) a review of literature on wicked problems (WP) and (2) empirical research on engineering students’ approaches to WP in the context of sustainability education.

    The term WP is today widely used in policy research, but also in many other disciplines, such as sustainability and sustainability education research. However, there is no consensus on the term’s theoretical underpinnings nor on its utility for research. Since Rittel and Webber’s (1973) seminal paper, the number of research publications in which the term is used has grown exponentially (Head 2019), but the research community remains divided with regard to its definition and value. Some researchers argue that WP is a useful concept since it can be used to highlight limitations of reductionistic approaches for addressing complex societal and environmental problems (Xiang 2013; Lönngren 2017). Others argue that the term is ambiguous and often used rhetorically rather than analytically (Noordegraaf et al. 2019; Peters and Tarpey 2019; Termeer et al. 2019; Turnbull and Hoppe 2019). These debates inspired a review of WP literature (Lönngren & Van Poeck 2020), in which we found that the concept can be used to perform two overarching rhetorical functions: 1. challenging existing, dominant approaches to addressing wicked problems, and 2. supporting alternative approaches. These findings indicate that problem structure should not only be viewed in essentialist terms, as inherent characteristics of problems; it should also be explored from constructivist perspectives since problems can be described as “wicked” to achieve certain political goals.

    In another study, , Lönngren et al. (2016) explored how engineering students approach a sustainability problem which the researchers had constructed as wicked. They identified four qualitatively different approaches: A. Simplify and avoid, B. Divide and control, C. Isolate and succumb, and D. Integrate and balance. Notably, approaches A through C involve “taming” the problem, i.e. constructing it as well-structured rather than wicked. These findings suggest that problem structure may be constantly contested in sustainability education that aims to prepare students for addressing wicked problems. The findings also highlight the close connection between problem construction and ways of approaching a problem: when problems are constructed as not wicked, more reductionistic approaches are often used. This phenomenon has also been described in the leadership (Grint, 2005) and environmental policy (Ison, Collins, & Wallis, 2015) literature.

    Based on the findings from the above described studies, we argue that problem structure should not only be understood as a characteristic of policy problems. It should also be explored as a political tool that can serve rhetorical functions and influence how policy problems are approached in practice.

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