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ERIC Number: ED539621
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Using Diversity Statements to Promote Engagement with Diversity and Teaching. Research Brief
Turns, Jennifer; Linse, Angela; VanDeGrift, Tammy; Eliot, Matt; Jones, Jana; Lappenbusch, Steve
Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (NJ1)
For many engineering educators, the often controversial topic of diversity can be frustrating and difficult. Even for those who acknowledge that diversity is an important issue for the engineering education community, translating understanding into tangible actions that support diverse students can be problematic. This paper provides results from a program using written diversity statements to encourage thinking and dialogue about the topic of diversity among graduate students interested in a faculty career. Analysis of the discourse surrounding the diversity statements suggests that there is reason to be encouraged about the usefulness of such an exercise in enabling participants to engage with diversity issues in engineering education. The data reflect a conversation with a continuous interplay of three topics (diversity, teaching, and task), and concerns about the purpose of the diversity statement were restricted to the early part of the conversation. All participants were involved in the conversation and had similar overall contributions that continued throughout session 7 and included all three primary themes (diversity, teaching, and task). The conversation covered a variety of challenges associated with thinking about diversity and teaching, but also included concrete strategies for integrating diversity issues into teaching, including both in-class actions and outside of class activities. Analysis of the data also indicates that the participants were capable of discussing, writing, and thinking about diversity in engineering education. Participants' perspectives on teaching went well beyond traditional lecturing, and they had sufficient awareness of diversity issues to begin and sustain the conversation. Participants engaged in this complex discourse without any external authority figures managing the discussion or providing additional information. The authors conclude that the graduate students in this study were prepared to discuss issues of diversity and teaching on engineering.
Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education. Available from: University of Washington. Box 352183, Seattle, WA 98195. Fax: 206-221-3161; e-mail: celtad@engr.; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of Washington, Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE)