Gender and Race-Based Minoritization in Engineering Education- ENGREDU 6194
In ENGREDU 6194 Group Studies in Engineering Education: Gender- and Race-Based Minoritization in Engineering Education, students engaged in communal dialogue with each other to translate theory on race and gender as social constructs to their own lived experiences of minoritization. They also worked together to better understand how gender- and race-based identities influence the ways that others, who are different than they are, influence their participation in society and in engineering. Class discussions were also used to analyze how race and gender function to minoritize non-male and non-white individuals at both the individual and systemic levels.
The final project for the course invited everyone participating (students and faculty) to take action to disrupt minoritization in a way they found meaningful based on their own experiences and positionalities. This charge resulted in some exciting outcomes, which included:
- A publicly available educational video that provides an accessible and empirically-grounded take on some of the key ideas from the course, along with recommendations for next steps in the form of reflection.
- A podcast that enables a global perspective on minoritization by translating theory on gender inequity to a Chinese Context by our own Jade Wang. (English version of the transcript)
- The initiation of a formal committee within our college to examine how the physical design of our academic spaces can be more made more inclusive
- Practice engaging in and reflecting on difficult dialogues with close friends and family members
- A program-level review of our EED graduate courses to understand the ways in which we are explicitly developing competency related to diversity, equity and inclusion
The offering of this course is a part of a larger project: Dr. Dringenberg’s NSF CAREER Award. Within this project, entitled, “Surfacing deeply-held beliefs about gender- and race-based minoritization in engineering,” Dr. Dringenberg and her team are working to make a distinct contribution to our collective effort to aims to broaden participation in engineering, a field where women and peoples of color remain systemically excluded. Her focus within this project is the beliefs of those in positions of power (e.g., faculty) who hold majority race- and gender-based identities (e.g., white and/or male). As a result of our socialization, we each hold beliefs related to race, gender, and engineering, but, these beliefs often remain outside of a person’s conscious awareness. Therefore, research is needed to understand how to not only surface, but enable critical reflection on such beliefs. Along with translating the outputs of this research project to classroom teaching, Dr. Dringenberg is also working to translate the findings to inform the design of meaningful professional development experiences for engineering faculty, staff, and administrators.