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.

 

"The ENGREDU 6194 course aligns with the long-held value and renewed commitment by the Department of Engineering Education to practice culturally-responsive pedagogical techniques that enhance our inclusive and equitable classroom practices. Students examine and reflect on their own experiences, the experiences of others, and the educational systems in engineering. This course structures meaningful engagement as students analyze social injustice through a research lens AND then translates research into practice through a final project. I would recommend this course to any graduate-level student."
– Dr. Lisa Abrams, Associate Department Chair
"I firmly believe that the work of creating a more equitable and inclusive COE is not the task of a single office or initiative but work the entire college must authentically and continually engage in. As the COE continues to increase efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion we are making progress in terms of teaching about social justice, privilege and unconscious bias to our students not only to impart the importance of the subjects but ensure students understand how these topics are intricately connected to their engineering education and future profession. The Engineering Education Department continues to lead our College in innovative curricula that goes beyond just a matter of metrics to creating an academic experience that prepares our students at all levels to solve complex problems in a global economy. Although I have not personally taken Dr. Dringenberg’s 6194 course I do think it is in direct alignment with the COE goals outlined in the strategic plan. Five years ago a course by that title would be the social sciences, to have such an offering originating in the COE reflects progress. These types of courses are empowering the next generation of Buckeye Engineers, kudos to all the faculty committed to transforming engineering education for all students. "
– Lisa Barclay, Senior Director of Diversity, Outreach & Inclusion Programs