I Don't FIT the Stereotype, but i see Myself as an Engineer: First-Year Engineering Students' Attitudes and Beliefs about their Engineering Identities

Brianna, Benedict, Dina Verdin, Rachel Baker, Allison Godwin, Aaron Thielmeyer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research category full paper examines the attitudes and beliefs that first-year engineering students have about the stereotypes of engineers and what it means to fit in engineering. We explored the attitudes and beliefs of 12 first-year engineering students, who may or may not identify with certain aspects of the stereotypical engineer, to understand their initial perceptions of engineering and what it means to fit in engineering. Most of the students' descriptions of an engineer aligned with the widely-accepted stereotype of an engineer, but they were also careful to state that that image was not true of all engineers. Several students expressed how they fit in engineering as a matter of 'sticking it out' because engineering requires hard work, motivation, and commitment, along with other attributes that were not descriptive of a stereotypical engineer. In this paper, we explore the tensions in how students describe the role of 'an engineer' generally and their own identities and fit as engineers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Education
Subtitle of host publicationFostering Innovation Through Diversity, FIE 2018 - Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781538611739
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018 - San Jose, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2018Oct 6 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
Volume2018-October
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Conference

Conference48th Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose
Period10/3/1810/6/18

Keywords

  • Agency
  • Belongingness
  • Engineering Identity
  • Fit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

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