skip to main content


Search for: All records

Award ID contains: 1752897

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract Background

    Shame is a deeply painful emotion people feel when they perceive that they have fallen short of socially constructed expectations. In this study,professional shamerefers to shame experiences that stem from people's perceptions that they have failed to meet expectations or standards that are relevant to their identities in a professional domain. While socially constructed expectations placed on engineering students have been implicitly addressed in the engineering education literature, they have rarely been the subject of specific inquiry.

    Purpose

    As part of a broader study on professional shame in engineering, we investigated the co‐construction of social worlds that place expectations on engineering students.

    Method

    We conducted 10 ethnographic focus groups with undergraduate engineering students from two universities. These groups were either heterogeneous or homogeneous, regarding racial and gender identity, to examine multiple social realities.

    Results

    We present significant findings related to engineering students' collective noticing, defining, and experiencing of social worlds. The findings give a sense of overlapping but distinct social realities among student groups and highlight how failing to meet expectations can contribute to deeply painful emotional responses. We also note when students' responses reproduce, resist, or redefine the broader cultural norms in which the students are embedded.

    Conclusions

    The study has implications for the theoretical exploration of shame, engineering education research on identity and diversity and inclusion, and the messaging and interactions in which the engineering education community engages.

     
    more » « less
  2. Abstract Background

    Although prior research has provided robust descriptions of engineering students' identity development, a gap in the literature exists related to students' emotional experiences of shame, which undergird the socially constructed expectations of their professional formation.

    Purpose

    We examined the lived experiences of professional shame among White male engineering students in the United States. We conceptualize professional shame to be a painful emotional state that occurs when one perceives they have failed to meet socially constructed expectations or standards that are relevant to their identity in a professional domain.

    Method

    We conducted unstructured interviews with nine White male engineering students from both a research‐focused institution and a teaching‐focused institution. We used interpretative phenomenological analysis to examine the interview transcripts.

    Results

    The findings demonstrated four themes related to how participants experienced professional shame. First, they negotiated their global, or holistic, identities in the engineering domain. Second, they experienced threats to their identities within professional contexts. Third, participants responded to threats in ways that gave prominence to the standards they perceived themselves to have failed. Finally, they repaired their identities through reframing shame experiences and seeking social connection.

    Conclusions

    The findings demonstrate that the professional shame phenomenon is interwoven with professional identity development. In experiencing professional shame, White male students might reproduce the shame experience for themselves and others. This finding has important implications for the standards against which members from underrepresented groups may compare themselves and provides insight into the social construction of engineering cultures by dominant groups.

     
    more » « less
  3. 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. 
    more » « less
  4. BACKGROUND Previous work has identified the reality of structural constraints placed on engineering students from underrepresented gender, racial, or ethnic backgrounds, a process known as minoritization. Students from minoritized and marginalized backgrounds are often expected to overcome additional obstacles in order to be successful in engineering or to claim identity as an engineer. Such a cultural backdrop contributes to the experience of professional shame, which has not yet been characterized in the lived experiences of engineering students who identify with minoritized backgrounds. PURPOSE We contend that professional shame is a major factor in both creating and perpetuating cycles of marginalization that inhibit students from forming a professional identity as an engineer or succeeding in their academic program. Anchored in theoretical foundations of psychology and sociology, we define professional shame as a painful emotional experience that occurs when individuals perceive themselves to be wholly inadequate in relation to identity-relevant standards within a professional domain. In this paper, we examine the lived experiences of professional shame in undergraduate engineering students in the United States who identify with racial, gender, or ethnic backgrounds that are minoritized within the structural constraints of their engineering programs. METHODS To answer our research question: How do students from minoritized gender, racial or ethnic backgrounds experience professional shame within the context of engineering education? We conducted an interpretative methodological analysis (IPA). Specifically, we conducted semi-structured interviews with junior engineering majors (n = 7) from two predominantly white institutions (PWIs) who self-identified as being from a minoritized gender, racial, or ethnic background. We found IPA to be especially effective in answering our research question while affirming the nuances of the diversity found in our participants’ gender, racial and ethnic backgrounds. We carefully analyzed the interview transcripts, generating descriptive, linguistic, and contextual comments. These comments informed multiple emergent themes for each participant, which were subsequently integrated into robust themes that characterized the psychological experiences shared by all participants. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS Our findings are summarized in four robust, psychological themes. First, minoritized identities were salient in moments of professional shame. Second, in response to professional shame, students sought out confirmation of belonging within the engineering space. Third, their perception of engineering as an exceptionally difficult major that required exceptional smartness intensified the shame experience. And, finally, participants experienced a tension between wanting to adhere to engineering stereotypes and wanting to diverge from or alter engineering stereotypes. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPLICATIONS Through examining participants’ experiences of shame and subsequent struggle to belong and claim identity as an engineer, we seek to address efforts in bolstering diversity, equity, and inclusion that may be hindered by the permeation of professional shame in the experience of minoritized students. We see these findings as critical in giving insight on how minoritization occurs and so that equity can become a systemic objective for everyone in the engineering community rather than the burden only on the shoulders of those who are marginalized by the community. 
    more » « less