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ERIC Number: ED540686
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Being and Becoming: Gender and Identity Formation of Engineering Students. Research Brief
Chachra, Debbie; Kilgore, Deborah; Loshbaugh, Heidi; McCain, Janice; Chen, Helen
Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (NJ1)
For undergraduate engineering students, development of an engineering identity is an important outcome of their education as they progress towards their professional selves. This process is reflected in engineering colleges' frequent practice of referring to engineering students as "engineers" (even in the earliest days following matriculation) in contrast to students in other disciplines. Results of this study showed that there was little difference in the degree of identification as an engineer between men and women, at least in the first- and sophomore year. The development of an engineering identity is strongly fostered by the culture of the engineering school and is considered to be an essential part of the educational progress of students towards a professional engineering identity. However, data presented in this paper suggest that the interaction of gender with the development of engineering identity is complex and multilayered, requiring: (1) a consideration of how men and women develop an understanding of what constitutes an engineering identity; and (2) an understanding of how students of both genders develop their own identities and how this relates to engineering identity.
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: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: University of Washington, Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE)