To Withdraw, Investigate, Negotiate Or Integrate? Students' Coping Strategies With Disorienting Dilemmas In Interdisciplinary Project Courses

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

30 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In today's rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected world, engineering educators are required to implement active pedagogical approaches to support students' interdisciplinary problem-solving processes. However, interdisciplinary and experiential learning may evoke situations where students question their past learnings and even existing values, beliefs, or assumptions. Our study examined the emergence of “disorienting dilemmas”, a central concept to transformative learning theory, and students' experiences in coping with them in engineering education. We interviewed ten students from two interdisciplinary project courses at School of Engineering in Aalto University, Finland, and conducted thematic analysis to identify the types of disorienting dilemmas and the coping strategies that students employed. Our study found that students experienced disorienting dilemmas related to self-beliefs, approaches to real-world challenges, teamwork, and disciplinary differences. To cope with these dilemmas, we identified four key strategies that reflected different levels of cognitive-behavioral responses: withdrawing, investigating, negotiating, and integrating. Our study contributes to transformative learning theory by extending the understanding of disorienting dilemmas in the context of interdisciplinary project-based education. We also provide practical implications for engineering educators seeking to develop students' competencies to effectively address complex challenges in working life. Effective interventions, such as critical reflection, open discussion, and resolving conflicting perspectives, can help students navigate disorienting dilemmas and enhance their interdisciplinary and transformative learning. Future research can explore how students' team characteristics may affect the emergence of coping strategies identified, as well as investigate the impact of scaffolding on students' learning outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSEFI 2023 - 51st Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education
Subtitle of host publicationEngineering Education for Sustainability, Proceedings
EditorsGer Reilly, Mike Murphy, Balazs Vince Nagy, Hannu-Matti Jarvinen
PublisherSociété européenne pour la formation des ingénieurs
Pages425-435
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87352-026-7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventAnnual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education - TU Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 10 Sept 202314 Sept 2023
Conference number: 51
https://www.sefi2023.eu
https://www.sefi2023.eu/

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education
Abbreviated titleSEFI
Country/TerritoryIreland
CityDublin
Period10/09/202314/09/2023
Internet address

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'To Withdraw, Investigate, Negotiate Or Integrate? Students' Coping Strategies With Disorienting Dilemmas In Interdisciplinary Project Courses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this