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Learning from each other: engaging engineering students through their cultural capital

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Author(s): Elena Rodriguez-Falcon | Alma Hodzic | Anna Symington

Journal: Engineering Education
ISSN 1750-0044

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 29;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: cultural capital | cross cultural learning | student engagement

ABSTRACT
This paper presents a piece of work conducted for the past four years at the University of Sheffield with classes of over 250 Engineering Management students from different disciplines of Engineering, countries of origin, previous educational backgrounds and levels of work experience. For the past four years, students have been asked to fill in a two-part survey investigating their perceptions of their native culture, based upon the Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck Cross Cultural Analysis Framework (Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck, 1961), and factors that would be required to run a successful engineering project in their country of origin. This paper builds on previous work and suggests that students’ cultural perceptions are highly complex and that using an interactive and student-centred pedagogical method in order to recognise and value students’ cultural capital not only enhances their cross-cultural knowledge and skills but potentially leads to enhanced student engagement.
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