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Developing a Model of Disciplinary Literacy Instruction for K-12 Engineering Education: Comparing the Literacy Practices of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (Fundamental)Despite efforts to diversify the engineering workforce, the field remains dominated by White, male engineers. Research shows that underrepresented groups, including women and minorities, are less likely to identify and engage with scientific texts and literacy practices. Often, children of minority groups and/or working-class families do not receive the same kinds of exposure to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) knowledge and practices as those from majority groups. Consequently, these children are less likely to engage in school subjects that provide pathways to engineering careers. Therefore, to mitigate the lack of diversity in engineering, new approaches able to broadly support engineering literacy are needed. One promising approach is disciplinary literacy instruction (DLI). DLI is a method for teaching students how advanced practitioners in a given field generate, interpret, and evaluate discipline-specific texts. DLI helps teachers provide access to to high quality, discipline-specific content to all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or socio-economic status, Therefore, DLI has potential to reduce literacy-based barriers that discourage underrepresented students from pursuing engineering careers. While models of DLI have been developed and implemented in history, science, and mathematics, little is known about DLI in engineering. The purpose of this research is to identify themore »
In this theory paper, we set out to consider, as a matter of methodological interest, the use of quantitative measures of inter-coder reliability (e.g., percentage agreement, correlation, Cohen’s Kappa, etc.) as necessary and/or sufficient correlates for quality within qualitative research in engineering education. It is well known that the phrase qualitative research represents a diverse body of scholarship conducted across a range of epistemological viewpoints and methodologies. Given this diversity, we concur with those who state that it is ill advised to propose recipes or stipulate requirements for achieving qualitative research validity and reliability. Yet, as qualitative researchers ourselves, we repeatedly find the need to communicate the validity and reliability—or quality—of our work to different stakeholders, including funding agencies and the public. One method for demonstrating quality, which is increasingly used in qualitative research in engineering education, is the practice of reporting quantitative measures of agreement between two or more people who code the same qualitative dataset. In this theory paper, we address this common practice in two ways. First, we identify instances in which inter-coder reliability measures may not be appropriate or adequate for establishing quality in qualitative research. We query research that suggests that the numerical measure itselfmore »
This study, part of a larger research project focused on disciplinary literacy within engineering (Authors, 2018), is a comparative case study of the literacy practices of two electrical engineers. The goal of this comparative case study was to understand how electrical engineers read, write, and evaluate multi-representational texts in the context of their professional lives. We used the findings from this study to construct a model of disciplinary literacy in electrical engineering, whose purpose is to prepare students for the electrical engineering workforce by teaching them to interpret and produce texts using authentic disciplinary frameworks. This paper examines the literacy practices of two electrical engineers to answer the following research questions: (1) What texts do the electrical engineers read and write? (2) What disciplinary frameworks do they use to read and write different texts? (3) How do engineers use internet searches to locate and evaluate information? (4) What role does argumentation have with respect to their literacy practices?