Work & Play in the Geotechnical Lab: Gender Implications for Engineering Educators. International Conference on Engineering Education & REsearch (iCEER)

Shobha K Bhatia, J. Smith, C Zoli, T Bhatia

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

In this three-part paper, we bring feminist insights about gender and education into the educational site and case study of the geotechnical engineering lab at Syracuse University, a large private research university in upstate New York. Our paper is structured into three sections: (1.) Feminist Education Theory & Engineering; (2.) Qualitative/Observation Study of the Geotechnical Lab; and (3.) the Role of Learning Contexts in Improving the Success of Women in Engineering. After providing a focused theory review of feminist accounts of education in the context of post-secondary science and engineering, we describe through qualitative analysis the results from observations conducted on the gendered behavior and interaction of students in the undergraduate geotechnical engineering laboratory (lab). We then situate these observations in the larger institutional context of Women in Science and Engineering Programs (WISE) and their role in college/university culture change from the vantage point of a senior female scholar in the field with over 22 years of engineering teaching experience and women’s advocacy. We specifically address the educator’s role in improving pedagogy, mentorship relations, and types of classroom experiences for engineering students. In general, we found that underlying gender ideologies and interactive practices can be addressed pedagogically to alter and enrich participants’ experiences in the science and engineering curriculum.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2004

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