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Evolution in engineering dispositions and thinking among culturally diverse students in an undergraduate… Campbell, Christopher David 2015

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EVOLUTION IN ENGINEERING DISPOSITIONS AND THINKING  AMONG CULTURALLY DIVERSE STUDENTS  IN AN UNDERGRADUATE ENGINEERING PROGRAMME  by  Christopher David Campbell  M.Ed., The University of Edinburgh, 2004  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Curriculum Studies)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  July 2015  © Christopher David Campbell, 2015  ii Abstract This study investigated the evolution in engineering dispositions and thinking among culturally diverse students through their enculturating experiences in team-based engineering design courses in second year electrical and computer engineering. Ethnographic methods (participant observation, semi-structured interviews) were employed to collect data in classrooms, labs, and project rooms over a seven-month period. Five culturally diverse students’ trajectories illustrate the processes and products of the evolution of students’ engineering dispositions and thinking. Five key conditions for students in navigating a shift from traditional to team-based project modes of study were identified: i) being willing to buy into working as part of a team, ii) being willing and able to claim a viable role as an engineer, iii) grappling with competing identities in becoming an engineer, iv) navigating different perspectives on engineering projects, and v) being able to self and co-regulate while under a complex, heavy workload. Cultural, language, and personal factors mediated culturally diverse students’ capacities to satisfy these five conditions. The study offers the following implications for fostering the engineering dispositions and thinking of culturally diverse students: i) explicit and meaningful orientation of students towards team-based project modes of study; ii) fostering of metacognitive awareness and capacity with respect to teamwork processes; iii) harnessing cultural diversity for promoting intercultural skills; iv) focus on English language competencies for functioning in formal, informal, and non-formal academic contexts; v) formative and summative assessment to support this mode of study; vi) self-regulation and socially shared regulation skills for sustaining the success of individuals and teams. The study offers the following implications for employing the theoretical framework in future research: i) greater clarity on the evidence required to identify stages of change; ii) greater clarity on establishing the  iii existence and nature of inner contradictions that drive change; iii) exploration of methodological opportunities and limitations on capturing change in students. This study offers an exemplar for researching evolution and change in students in complex educational contexts.   iv Preface The research activities for this doctoral thesis were conducted with ethics approval (UBC BREB #H11-03181). This thesis is an original unpublished work created solely by myself, Christopher David Campbell, with the kind guidance and support of my supervisors: Drs. David Anderson, Samson Nashon, and Philippe Kruchten of The University of British Columbia. Funding for this doctorate research was generously provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Doctoral Fellowship Award #752-2012-2547) and the Killam Trusts (Doctoral Scholarship). Table of Contents Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... ii Preface............................................................................................................................................ iv Table of Contents ............................................................................................................................ v List of Tables ................................................................................................................................. ix List of Figures ................................................................................................................................. x Glossary ........................................................................................................................................ xii Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................... xiv Dedication ..................................................................................................................................... xv Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................... 1 1.1 Problem Statement ............................................................................................................. 1 1.2 Study Context ..................................................................................................................... 4 1.3 Study Aims and Research Questions ................................................................................. 7 1.4 Educational Context ........................................................................................................... 7 1.5 Literature Review ............................................................................................................. 10 1.6 Theoretical ........................................................................................................................ 10 1.7 Methodology .................................................................................................................... 11 1.8 Findings ............................................................................................................................ 12 1.9 Discussion ........................................................................................................................ 13 1.10 Conclusions and Implications ........................................................................................ 13 Chapter 2: Literature Review ........................................................................................................ 15 2.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 15  v 2.2 A Map of the Engineering Education Research Field ...................................................... 17 2.3 Engineering Education as Disciplinary Culture ............................................................... 19 2.4 Enculturation in STEM Education: Assimilation and the “Leaky Pipeline” ................... 24 2.5 Enculturation in Engineering: Moving from Pipeline to Pathways ................................. 27 2.6 The Planned Versus the Lived Curriculum ...................................................................... 30 2.7 Engineering Identity ......................................................................................................... 35 2.8 Enculturation in Science and Math: Towards a Holistic View for Engineering .............. 41 2.9 Culturally Diverse Students in Engineering and Science ................................................. 45 2.10 Literature Review: Summary and Significance.............................................................. 51 Chapter 3: Theoretical................................................................................................................... 54 3.1 Introduction and Overview ............................................................................................... 54 3.2 General Theoretical Framing ........................................................................................... 57 3.3 Activity Theory: Foundations .......................................................................................... 60 3.4 Activity Theory: Focusing on the Subject/Student .......................................................... 69 3.5 Culture .............................................................................................................................. 82 3.6 Summary .......................................................................................................................... 92 Chapter 4: Methodology ............................................................................................................... 95 4.1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 95 4.2 Ethnography ..................................................................................................................... 97 4.3 Selecting the Research Setting ....................................................................................... 107 4.4 Research Setting: Educational Context .......................................................................... 109 4.5 Research Design: Planning Extended Data Collection in a Complex Research Setting 121 4.6 Accessing the Research Setting and Establishing a Working Presence ......................... 125  vi 4.7 Becoming Embedded in a Team .................................................................................... 127 4.8 In-Field Data Collection and Analysis ........................................................................... 128 4.9 Post-Field Data Analysis ................................................................................................ 137 4.10 Trustworthiness of Findings ......................................................................................... 148 4.11 Ethical Issues ................................................................................................................ 150 Chapter 5: Findings - A Portrait of Interactions in a Design Course .......................................... 152 5.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................... 152 5.2 Student-Instructor Interactions ....................................................................................... 153 5.3 Student-Student Interactions .......................................................................................... 165 5.4 Student-Tool Interactions ............................................................................................... 172 5.5 Student-Assessment Interactions .................................................................................... 174 5.6 Students “Cracking” ....................................................................................................... 179 5.7 Summary of Findings ..................................................................................................... 182 Chapter 6: Findings - Evolution in Engineering Dispositions and Thinking.............................. 184 6.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................... 184 6.2 Jay – Buying Into Working as Part of a Team and Claiming a Viable Role.................. 191 6.3 Lee – Coming to Know Who He is Technically and Socially in a Team ...................... 213 6.4 Hyuna – Being Technically Uninvolved to Seeking a Meaningful Role ....................... 236 6.5 Tia – Coordinating, Communicating, and Trusting Her Own Technical Authority ...... 261 6.6 Yao – “Getting Past/Passed” Versus “Aiming High” .................................................... 281 6.7 Engineering Disposition and Thinking Manifest Through Themes ............................... 308 6.8 Summary of Chapter 6 Findings .................................................................................... 332 Chapter 7: Discussion ................................................................................................................. 334  vii 7.1 Introduction .................................................................................................................... 334 7.2 Being Willing to Buy Into Working as Part of a Team .................................................. 336 7.3 Being Willing and Able to Claim a Viable Role as an Engineer ................................... 342 7.4 Grappling with Competing Identities in Becoming an Engineer ................................... 348 7.5 Navigating Different Perspectives on Engineering Projects .......................................... 353 7.6 Being Able to Self and Co-Regulate While Under a Complex, Heavy Workload ........ 359 Chapter 8: Conclusions and Implications ................................................................................... 364 8.1 Conclusions .................................................................................................................... 364 8.2 Implications for Theory .................................................................................................. 368 8.3 Implications for Curriculum and Practice ...................................................................... 371 8.4 Implications for Research ............................................................................................... 378 References ................................................................................................................................... 381 Appendices .................................................................................................................................. 404   viii List of Tables Table 1. List of CU Engineering Courses, 2012/13 Academic Year .............................................. 8 Table 2. Characterization of Engineering Disciplinary Culture (Donald, 2002) .......................... 20 Table 3. Map of Engineering Culture: Four of Six Dimensions (Godfrey & Parker, 2010) ........ 22 Table 4. Professor and Student Conceptions of Study (Newstetter, 1998) ................................... 31 Table 5. Engineering Dispositions and Thinking as Points of Reference..................................... 52 Table 6. GLOBE's Cultural Construct Definitions ....................................................................... 89 Table 7. Background Information on Team Z5 Study Participants ............................................ 114 Table 8. List of CU Engineering Courses, 2012/13 Academic Year .......................................... 116 Table 9. Design I and Design II Team-based Design Projects (CU) .......................................... 117 Table 10. Research Design ......................................................................................................... 124 Table 11. Summary of Data Collected ........................................................................................ 138 Table 12. Sample Interactions for Code “Encouraging Grit” ..................................................... 142 Table 13. Measures to Maximize Trustworthiness ..................................................................... 150 Table 14. Assessment Rubric for Projects .................................................................................. 176 Table 15. Summary of Nature of Interactions and Knowledge They Foster and Hinder ........... 183 Table 16. Individual Students’ Inner Contradictions Expressed as Questions ........................... 322 Table 17. Summary of Engineering Dispositions and Thinking from Student Trajectories ...... 333 Table 18. Mean Scores for Gender Egalitarianism ..................................................................... 351 Table 19. Mean Scores for In-group Collectivism ...................................................................... 357   ix List of Figures Figure 1. Vygotsky’s (1978) Concept of Mediation ..................................................................... 64 Figure 2. Vygotsky’s (1978) Concept of Mediation as Represented by Engeström (1987) ......... 64 Figure 3. Anthropogenesis ............................................................................................................ 68 Figure 4. Second Generation Activity Theory (Engeström, 1987) ............................................... 68 Figure 5. The Structure of Activities ............................................................................................ 70 Figure 6. Electrical Lab 322........................................................................................................ 110 Figure 7. Lab 322 Work Bench ................................................................................................... 111 Figure 8. Schematic of a Dual Slope Analog Digital Converter (ADC) Integrator .................... 118 Figure 9. Voltage vs. Time Graph of the Run-up and Run-down Phases of Dual Slope ADC .. 119 Figure 10. Block Design of a Dual Slope ADC Multimeter ....................................................... 120 Figure 11. Dual Slope ADC Mulitmeter Prototype on a Breadboard ......................................... 120 Figure 12. Perspectives on Project-Based Learning (Kelvin, Two TAs, Heisenberg) ............... 154 Figure 13. Patterns in Heisenberg-Student Interactions ............................................................. 156 Figure 14. Patterns in Kelvin-Student Interactions ..................................................................... 161 Figure 15. Found Engineering Art in a Project Room – A Unity of Seven Minds? ................... 172 Figure 16. Four Students Working in Close Concert on a Soldering Job ................................... 174 Figure 17. Graffiti the Night Before the Project 1 Demonstration in Lab 322 ........................... 180 Figure 18. Graffiti After Project 1 Demonstrations in Lab 322 .................................................. 180 Figure 19. Students “Cracking” .................................................................................................. 181 Figure 20. Summary of Jay’s Trajectory .................................................................................... 194 Figure 21. Summary of Lee’s Trajectory .................................................................................... 216 Figure 22. Modding the DE2 Board ........................................................................................... 225  x Figure 23. Summary of Hyuna’s Trajectory ............................................................................... 239 Figure 24. Summary of Tia’s Trajectory .................................................................................... 264 Figure 25. Summary of Yao’s Trajectory ................................................................................... 285 Figure 26. Yao’s Happiness Versus Year by Programme Graph ............................................... 288   xi Glossary Acculturation  The dual process of cultural and psychological change that occurs as a result of contact between two or more cultural groups that, over the long term, cause change at the group and individual level (Grusec & Hastings, 2014).   Culturally diverse students  Non-native English speaking foreign students who required English language preparation prior to commencing their undergraduate studies in Canada. These students either came to Canada after finishing high school in their home countries or attended a Canadian high school for up to five years before their undergraduate studies.  Dispositions The sum total of an individual’s characteristic tendencies, such as basic temperament, attitudes, inclinations, and drives (Corsini, 2002, p. 288).   Enculturation The shaping of values and behavior through the immersion of an individual in a culture (Herskovits, 1948).  Enculturation processes Those forces, deliberate or not, in a given network of influences (e.g., adults, peers, school) that limit, direct, and shape an individual. These result in the individual having greater competence in the language, rituals, and values of the culture in which they are immersed (Grusec & Hastings, 2014).  Engineering Graduate Attributes  Twelve attributes (a knowledge base for engineering, problem analysis, investigation, design, use of engineering tools, individual and teamwork, communication skills, professionalism, impact of engineering on society and the environment, ethics and equity, economics and project management, and life-long learning) required of engineering graduates and required for program accreditation in Canada (Engineers Canada, 2014).  Engineering dispositions  Following from Corsini (2002) in the foregoing definition of dispositions, this is defined for the purposes of this study to be “an individual’s characteristic tendencies, such as basic temperament, attitudes, inclinations, and drives” (p. 288) as they relate to engineering work.  Engineering thinking  Patterns of intellectual behaviour or habits of mind with respect to engineering work. Engineering thinking entails a composite of skills, attitudes, past experiences, and proclivities and includes such things as systems thinking, creative problem solving, persistence, and collaboration.    xii Generalized agency  Leont’ev’s (1978) concept of the human capacity to gain, through participation in activity with others, some degree of control over societal conditions so as to improve one’s life conditions and maximize one’s capacity to act.  Generalized possibilities to act  Expressions of what a particular culture or activity system enables or constrains in individuals, which exist at a societal level (Holzkamp, 2013).  Inner/internal contradictions Tensions that emerge between elements of an activity system (i.e., subject, tools and signs, object/motive, rules, division of labour, community) that drive evolution and change in the activity system itself and in the individuals, who are an integral part of activity (Leontʹev, 1978)  Irreducible unit of analysis Activity theory takes activity itself as a unit of analysis, meaning that the individual and the other elements of activity together form an integral, indivisible whole. The elements of activity are dialectically related in that they pre-suppose each other (i.e., are mutually constitutive), have the potential to influence and transform one another, and so cannot be disentangled from each other in analysis (Leontʹev, 1978).  Learning as enculturation  Entailing that a person’s development occurs through their immersion in a culture – a professional disciplinary culture, in this case - rather than through the transmission and acquisition of information and skills by a person (Hodson & Hodson, 1998a, 1998b).  Object/motive A collective societal need that exists within an activity system which holds an orienting and organizing function for the activity and can exist as a material entity in the world or as how people envision it once created (Roth, 2014).  Psychic reflection The process by which subjective images of objective reality are patterned in particular ways and on different levels in the mind of a person. Similarly, the person’s mind also patterns practical activity in the real world, of which she or he is a constitutive part (Leontʹev, 1978).  Subjective reasons for action A mediating layer between the structure of activities and the agency of individuals, in which societal conditions, available as “constellations of meaning” (Holzkamp, 2013) to an individual, become potential premises for an individual’s reasons for their actions.   Symmetry  This term from Actor Network Theory (Latour, 1987) describes how human and non-human entities “assemble collectives or ‘networks’ that produce force and other effects: knowledge, identities, routines, behaviours, policies, curricula, innovations, oppressions, reforms, illnesses, and on and on” (Fenwick & Edwards, 2011, p. 2).  xiii  xiv Acknowledgements I would like to thank all who made this degree possible through their time, thoughts, guidance, and generosity. Thanks, Drs. Samson Nashon and David Anderson, for being wonderfully supportive through the whole PhD from the time I visited you in September 2009 with an idea until the end - and the beginning of a new path. David: 日本でいつかあいましょう! Samson: I don't know how to thank you and am going to miss the talk. Thanks to Dr. Philippe Kruchten for Hofstede, which turned into GLOBE. Special thanks to Drs. Seonaigh MacPherson (I did it!), Andre Ivanov, Kadriye Ercikan, and Joanne Nackonechny. A very special thanks to Drs. Wolff-Michael Roth and Kamyar Keikhosravy. Special thanks to my wife Yoshika Campbell and my children Rowan and Erin: you were the bright lights in my life that got me through. Thanks for all the loving support I received from my parents and family: my father and mother Ed and Roberta Campbell and my cool siblings Ed, Amanda, Marie, and Carolyn and James. Thanks to Sandy and Dave for believing in me too!  Special thanks to all of those from my time in Japan who are still so close: Graeme, Francois, John, Chris, Bob, Dale, and Roger. Sendai Souke and Souke – I don’t know how to thank you. A hearty thanks to those who have been here with me on this long 6 year journey since I came back from Japan: Donnard, Eddy, Michael, Dan, Marco, Kor, Vina, Stu, Arnaud, Annette, Seonaigh, Tanis, Dale, Joel, and Ryan. Special thanks to the 2010 EECP PhD cohort: Aurelia, Jung-Hoon, Anita, Fu, Scott, Elizabeth, Jong-Mun, James, Marie-France, and Jo…hope to see you down the road as you make your way forward. Special thanks to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Doctoral Fellowship Award #752-2012-2547), the Killam Trusts (Doctoral Scholarship), and Dr. Wolff-Michael Roth for making my doctorate possible. Dedication To all the PhD students and candidates studying, researching, and writing out there: Ad augusta per angusta. You too can get through - take it to the tower!*  * The soon to be defunct Acadia Park high-rise penthouse (PH) floor between the Common’s Block and (the defunct) Salmo Court. Best-kept study secret at UBC until May 2015. We have heard the chimes (for beer) at midnight, Master MacKenzie!   xv Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Problem Statement Engaging with the complexity of the lived curriculum - as students experience or live it within the situation (Aoki, Pinar, & Irwin, 2005) - is a relatively new, promising, and yet challenging approach to researching and understanding how students change through their study. It would be interesting to closely track students’ participation as they live engineering curricula so as to understand over time how they change through their enculturating experiences in and exposure to a school disciplinary culture (Hodson & Hodson, 1998a, 1998b). As will be discussed in the literature review (Chapter 2), engineering education studies oriented towards situated cognition (Greeno, 1998), as this study is, have tended to approach researching change in students as the product of an assimilative brand of enculturation into disciplinary cultural norms (e.g., Clark, Dodd, & Coll, 2008; Dryburgh, 1999) such as characterized in the literature (e.g., Donald, 2002; Godfrey & Parker, 2010). More contemporary studies in other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects have sought more nuanced approaches to researching change in student in lived curricula by attempting to capture it as it emerges and evolves over time. This is often perceived as a product of complex interactions (Esmonde, Takeuchi, & Radakovic, 2011; Roth, 2013).  This study investigates how the engineering dispositions and thinking of culturally diverse students evolve through their enculturating experiences in an undergraduate Electrical and Computer Engineering program. Specifically, this study focuses on culturally diverse students in the second year of their degree program as they shift from the predominantly textbook and lecture-based math and science mode of study of first year general engineering to a team-based engineering design project mode of study. Culturally diverse students are  1 intentionally defined in this study as non-native English speaking foreign students who required English language preparation prior to commencing their undergraduate studies in Canada. These students either came to Canada after finishing high school in their home countries or attended a Canadian high school for up to five years before their undergraduate studies. Further, culturally diverse students in this study are considered as undergoing an enculturation experience through complex interactions occurring in and through their participation as a part of team-based design projects that produce change in their engineering dispositions and thinking. Hence, this study is about the processes of enculturation and its products in the form of change in students’ engineering dispositions and thinking.  Interest in knowing how culturally diverse students change over time in lived curricula and how this might be different from expectations espoused in planned curricula comes from the researcher’s background as a STEM and language educator as well as his training and experience as an engineer and his experience living and working internationally. Two trends make this study a fruitful line of inquiry. First, engineering has a distinctive disciplinary and professional culture and the internationalization of many engineering programs in Canada has led to greater diversity in undergraduate student populations, which raises interesting questions about what might be happening operationally in engineering programs. Second, there is a general movement in undergraduate engineering programs towards outcomes-based curricula that provide early degree experiences in team-based engineering design aimed at a broader range of skills and knowledge (e.g., communication, teamwork, ethics, professionalism) required both in professional practice and by accreditation bodies (Duderstadt, 2008; National Academy of Engineering, 2005; Sheppard, Macatangay, Colby, & Sullivan, 2009). As such, students study in increasingly complex and open-ended formal, informal, and non-formal environments and there is a lack of  2 research on how such trends affect how students develop. Such understanding can be analyzed from studying engineering dispositions and thinking. As identified earlier, this study focuses on the engineering dispositions and thinking that culturally diverse students develop in team-based design projects. The term disposition is defined “the sum total of an individual’s characteristic tendencies, such as basic temperament, attitudes, inclinations, and drives” (Corsini, 2002, p. 288). Engineering dispositions refer to such characteristic tendencies as they relate to engineering work. Engineering thinking is defined as patterns of intellectual behaviour, or habits of mind, with respect to engineering work. Engineering thinking entails a composite of thinking processes, skills, and approaches, which may include such things as systems thinking, creative problem solving, task analysis, and collaboration. Dispositions and thinking in this study are seen as not mutually exclusive. Given the applied, contextual, and social nature of engineering work (Bucciarelli, 1994), whenever a disposition is manifest, thinking is implied. For example, when an electrical engineering student is troubleshooting an analog circuit she has built, it requires the thinking processes of inference and verification that manifests as a patient and self-reliant disposition (Donald, 2002). For this study, engineering dispositions and thinking are taken as presupposing each other and so are treated as one. They are not to be separated. If engineering dispositions and thinking are the products of study; then enculturation is the process. This study focuses on both. Conceptualizing development as enculturation entails that it occurs through a person’s immersion in a culture – a disciplinary school culture, in this case - rather than through the transmission and acquisition of information and skills by a person (Hodson & Hodson, 1998a, 1998b). Enculturation processes, as defined by Grusec and Hastings (2014) are those forces, deliberate or not, in a given network of influences that limit, direct, and  3 shape an individual and result in them having greater competence in the language, rituals, and values of the culture. The term “forces” is used in this study to refer specifically to interactions among students, instructors, course documents, assessment tools, and the material projects, equipment, and tools that become significant within the environment where change is observed in real time. Therefore, this study aims to account holistically for such interactions for their effects on culturally diverse students - an approach which entails a dual focus on enculturation processes and the change in engineering thinking and dispositions they produce.  1.2 Study Context This case study (Stake, 1995) employs ethnographic methods (Hammersley & Atkinson, 2007) informed by a hybrid of theoretical perspectives from cultural historical activity theory and German critical psychology (Roth, 2009) to understand how culturally diverse students’ engineering dispositions and thinking evolve through their enculturating experiences in two second year team-based electrical and computer engineering design courses. This hybrid theoretical perspective (Roth, 2009) derives from the cultural historical activity theory perspectives of Vygotsky (1978), Leont’ev (1978), and Engeström (1987) and German critical psychology perspectives of Holzkamp (2013). This study is a response to recent trends in higher education and an interest in understanding what culturally diverse students develop after they undergo academic English and foundational science and math preparation during and after their high school education in Canada or in their home countries.  The internationalization of Canadian universities and curriculum reform underway in Canadian engineering programs noted in Section 1.1 require further elaboration. First, the Association of University and Colleges of Canada (2009) examined the internationalization of  4 curriculum in Canadian universities, concluding that “although the value of internationalization is recognized by Canadian universities, and this interest is increasingly backed with concrete measures and investments, integrating an international dimension into the curriculum has been a more challenging endeavour” (p. 7). The AUCC report identified these components of an internationalized university curriculum: partnerships, foreign language learning, faculty members’ initiatives, students’ international or intercultural experiences, and internationalization in learning outcomes and assessment. Conspicuously absent are the supports and a research agenda needed to accommodate diverse students in STEM programs at Canadian universities. There is a lack of literature examining what the internationalization of engineering programs means for these students in lived curriculum.  Second, Canadian engineering departments are now pursuing curriculum change motivated by the goals of program improvement and innovation and by accreditation requirements that graduates possess twelve attributes: a knowledge base for engineering, problem analysis, investigation, design, use of engineering tools, individual and teamwork, communication skills, professionalism, impact of engineering on society and the environment, ethics and equity, economics and project management, and life-long learning (Engineers Canada, 2014). The Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) requirements stem partially from the Washington Accord, an agreement, which, along with the Barcelona Process in the European Union, aims at some degree of international harmonization of engineering program accreditation criteria and quality.  Engineering curriculum reform has also been widely discussed at the post-secondary level (Borrego & Bernhard, 2011) and the integration of engineering content and skills called for at the K-12 level (Hudson, English, & Dawes, 2014; Katehi et al., 2009). Key academic and  5 professional studies in the US (National Academy of Engineering, 2005; Sheppard, Macatangay, Colby, & Sullivan, 2009), the UK (Royal Academy of Engineering, 2006), Canada (The Canadian Academy of Engineering, 2005), and Australia (King, 2008) have identified numerous challenges posed to the profession by the knowledge economy, globalization, demographics, technological change and innovation, and environmental sustainability and have urged revisions to engineering education as a solution. Duderstadt (2008, p. 67) characterizes such change as a needed paradigm shift from a focus on “reductionism to complexity, from analysis to synthesis, from disciplinarity to multidisciplinarity, and from local to global.” He recommends the need to “accommodate a far more holistic approach…in linking social, economic, environmental, legal and political considerations with technical design and innovation” (p. 67) and places a premium on diversity in engineering.  The broad trend of demographic change brought by the globalization of Canadian universities and reform in engineering education has meant a shift towards more integrated curricula, early-degree experiences in team-based engineering design projects, and increases in the diversity of the student body. A literature review has shown that very little research has been done on culturally diverse students in team-based engineering design courses, a site which is at the confluence of these changes and where hard and soft skills and knowledge meet. This study is an opportunity to understand and explain what engineering dispositions and thinking emerge in these students through their participation in the lived curriculum of team-based engineering design projects. Furthermore, this study is significant for teaching, curriculum, and research because it provides nuanced accounts of how culturally diverse students develop in surprising and multifarious ways within the same team working on the same project. This study provides insight into these engineering students' early professional development in complex contexts.   6 1.3 Study Aims and Research Questions  This study aims to account holistically for the effects of complex interactions among students, instructors, tools, and assessments in team-based design projects on culturally diverse students’ engineering dispositions and thinking over time. Implicit in such an aim is that cognition is situated, emerges through interaction in the world, and is interpreted through observed actions (Greeno, 1998; Lave & Wenger, 1991). Accordingly, the main research question is: How do the engineering dispositions and thinking of culturally diverse students evolve through their experiences in the second year of an electrical and computer engineering program? Investigation of this main question is guided by the following questions:   • What is the nature of the student-instructor, student-student, student-tool, student-assessment interactions in engineering design courses? What knowledge do these interactions foster and hinder?  • How do students and instructors perceive the evolution of engineering dispositions and thinking in students over the duration of the engineering design courses?  • How do engineering dispositions and thinking in students in a team evolve over the duration of the courses?  1.4 Educational Context Engaging in ethnographic research means immersing oneself in the context. Hence, in reporting ethnographic processes, researchers are compelled to provide fuller descriptions of the context than are usually provided in other kinds of research (Becker, Geer, Hughes, & Strauss, 1976; Hammersley & Atkinson, 2007). Hence, this section presents a very brief overview of the curriculum and students at the Electrical and Computer Engineering department of the Canadian University (herein CU) in which this research took place. More specific descriptions of context will also be presented as necessary in Chapter 4, which focuses on methodology.    7 1.4.1 Educational Context: Curriculum This study focused students in the second year of CU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering program. By the time they had arrived in second year at CU, students had taken a common suite of general lecture-based first year engineering courses either at CU or their equivalents at another institution (Table 1).   Table 1. List of CU Engineering Courses, 2012/13 Academic Year   First year general engineering courses  Introduction to Engineering Engineering Case Studies Introduction to Computation in Engineering Design Chemistry for Engineering Strategies for University Writing                    Differential Calculus Integral Calculus Linear Systems Elements of Physics Mechanics I Non-engineering elective  Second year Electrical and Computer Engineering courses (common core)  Technical Communication (F) Data Structures and Algorithms for Computer Engineers (F)*  Circuit Analysis I (F)* Multivariable Calculus (F) Introduction to Microcomputers (F)* Electrical and Computer Engineering Laboratory I (F) Basics of Computer Systems (W)+ Circuit Analysis II (W)+ Electrical and Computer Engineering Laboratory II (W) Linear Differential Equations (W) Mathematical Methods for Electrical and Computer Engineering  (W)  * Co-requisites for Design I; + Co-requisites for Design II; F = fall semester, W = winter semester  As noted in Section 1.1, the culturally diverse students of interest in this study had either spent a few years in high school before studying engineering at CU or had come to CU to study  8 engineering after attending high school in their home countries. Some of the students who had arrived in Canada after their high school study fed into CU’s second year after attending first year at one of many engineering transfer programs which articulate to CU’s general first year and also cater to English academic preparation needs. Once admitted into second year, students took a common set of seven courses plus two additional courses (Table 1), as dictated by their stream (i.e., computer or electrical engineering) which were also co-requisites to the two design courses in Design I (fall 2012) and Design II (winter 2013). The Design I and Design II courses were the focus of this study.  1.4.2 Educational Context: People The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department is the most culturally diverse department in CU Engineering. Twenty four point eight percent of ECE students were immigrants, meaning that they have permanent resident status and attended high school in Canada for one to five years. Fourteen percent of the ECE students were international students, meaning that they have international student visas and moved to Canada specifically to get a degree. In the 2012/2013 academic year, 286 and 270 mostly second year electrical and computer engineering students were enrolled in Design I and Design II, respectively. ECE students come from a variety of countries (from highest to lowest percentage): Canada, China, Iran, Taiwan, South Korea, India, and a number of other countries including Malaysia, the USA, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong. Eighty-three percent of ECE students are male. The instructors, teaching assistants (TAs), and lab technicians supporting the courses were more diverse than the students: of the two instructors, eight teaching assistants, and the lab technician, only two were born in Canada with many coming from Iran.   9 1.5 Literature Review Chapter 2 situates the study within the field of engineering and the relevant science and math education research. Specifically, the review of the literature focuses on how scholars have researched processes of student change (e.g., enculturation) in complex, lived engineering and science curricula and what they have found to be the products of this enculturation in terms of dispositions and thinking. This review provides a map of the engineering education research literature to orient the reader to the field (Section 2.2), discusses how engineering education has been researched as disciplinary culture (Section 2.3), and discusses key studies to illustrate how enculturation processes in engineering curricula have been conceptualized as assimilation, a pipeline, and pathways (Sections 2.4, 2.5). It then reviews research done on complex engineering education environments that focuses on disjunctures between the planned and the lived curriculum (Section 2.6), on learning as identity development (Section 2.7). It then takes a tighter focus on more recent activity theory studies to understand how recent scholars have captured both the processes and products of change holistically in real-time in complex environments (Section 2.8). Studies specifically focusing on culturally diverse students in engineering and science are overviewed briefly (Section 2.9). Finally, the key points from this literature review for this study’s theoretical perspectives, methodology, findings, and implications are summarized for later discussion in the relevant chapters (Section 2.10).  1.6 Theoretical Chapter 3 presents, discusses, and justifies the theoretical underpinnings of the study (i.e., constructionism, interpretivism, symbolic interactionism, activity theory) for this case study of student evolution in team-based design projects (Section 3.2). The theoretical and analytical  10 framing of this study - Roth’s (2009) hybrid activity theory framework – is also presented and justified as sound and commensurate with the study’s research questions (Section 3.4). To that end, this chapter overviews the relevant foundational perspectives within activity theory (Engeström, 1987; Leontʹev, 1978; Vygotsky, 1978) in Section 3.3. However, the focus of the study requires eschewing the use of Engeström’s second generation activity theory in favour of Roth’s hybrid framework. Roth’s framework draws from German critical psychology (Holzkamp, 1991, 2013) and allows for the tracking, emergence, turnover in dominance, and restructuring of new development resulting from inner contradictions in the student-in-activity over time. Key terms are drawn from the work of Leont’ev, Roth, and Holzkamp (i.e., irreducible units of analysis, orienting effects of object/motive, inner contradictions, focus on trajectories over time, generalized agency, generalized possibilities to act, subjective reasons for action) and used in later chapters for the purposes of interpretation and discussion (Section 3.4). Finally, this chapter also reviews relevant perspectives from cultural psychology, intercultural studies, and cultural analysis to anticipate what students bring from their cultures and their potential mediating effects on overall activity (e.g., team dynamics, perspective) and hence the evolution of engineering dispositions and thinking (Section 3.5).  1.7 Methodology This chapter presents the research design for the study, which employed ethnographic methods (participant observation, semi-structured interviews) to gather most of the data. The chapter also explains how the researcher accessed the site, became embedded in a design team, collected and analyzed the data, and ensured that the findings of the study would be trustworthy.  11 Chapter 4 overviews how this research was planned and conducted according to ethnographic research principles in an ethical manner so as to produce trustworthy findings. The chapter begins by justifying the study's theoretical and methodological choices and staking out five key points that guided its application of ethnographic methods. The selection and context of the research setting, the overall research design, and the work in the field is then discussed. Next, data collection and analysis considerations and processes are detailed and illustrated. Finally, the representation of the findings and issues of trustworthiness and ethnics are discussed.   1.8 Findings Chapters 5 and 6 present findings to address this study’s main research question: How do the engineering dispositions and thinking of culturally diverse students evolve through their experiences in the second year of an electrical and computer engineering program? Chapter 5 can be thought of as an ethnographic portrait (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 1997) of disciplinary engineering culture (c.f. Donald, 2002; Godfrey & Parker, 2010 in Section 2.3) at the research site that has the secondary role of contextualizing five students’ trajectories, which are the main findings of this study (Chapter 6). Chapter 5 partly answers the first guiding research question (i.e., the nature of student-instructor, student-student, student-tool, student-assessment interactions in an engineering design course; the knowledge these interactions foster and hinder). However, additional data collected of such interactions in team Z5 were necessarily subsumed into the student trajectories that appear in Chapter 6. The findings in Chapter 6 are framed and interpreted through the hybrid activity theory framework of Roth (2009) as discussed in Sections 1.2, 3.4.3 and 4.2.5. At the end of Chapter 6, an additional level of analysis of the student trajectories revealed five critically important conditions for culturally diverse students to satisfy  12 in order to develop engineering dispositions and thinking in this team-based project work mode of study. These are fodder for discussion in Chapter 7.  1.9 Discussion Chapter 7 discusses the findings reported in Chapter 6 by elaborating upon the interpretations and meanings ascribed to how engineering dispositions and thinking of culturally diverse student evolve in the team-based design courses. The emphasis in this chapter is on the five conditions (Section 6.7) that potentially manifest along these students’ trajectories, whose effects are mediated by other factors (cultural, contextual, personal) in activity to shape their engineering dispositions and thinking. This chapter draws out key challenges for culturally diverse students running through the five accounts of students’ trajectories and discusses how these challenges shape possibilities for them in developing their engineering dispositions and thinking in team-based engineering design courses.  1.10 Conclusions and Implications Chapter 8 recaps the study's key findings and presents and briefly discusses its conclusions and implications for theory, practice and curriculum, and research. The eight conclusions are drawn directly from the discussion in Chapter 7. The first three conclusions are general, and concern the nature of enculturation processes, team perspectives, and how opportunities to develop engineering dispositions and thinking manifest in complex activity. The next five conclusions derive directly from the discussion chapter and concern the five conditions identified that potentially manifest along students’ trajectories to shape culturally diverse students’ engineering dispositions and thinking.   13 The implications of this study are also discussed in this chapter. First, the application of Roth’s (2009) hybrid activity theory framework (Chapter 3) to focus attention on the student rather than the activity system is discussed as a unique approach to understanding evolution in students engaged in practical collective activity in complex systems. There are several implications for curriculum and practice that specifically relate to culturally diverse students and the challenges they face in the shift from traditional math and science to team-based project modes of study. Finally, a number of implications are discussed for research, particularly methodological challenges and opportunities in employing Roth’s (2009) hybrid activity theory framework.   14 Chapter 2: Literature Review 2.1 Introduction Given this study’s aim is to account holistically for the effects of complex interactions in team-based engineering design projects on culturally diverse students’ engineering dispositions and thinking over time, this chapter’s purpose is to contextualize and inform this research through a review of the relevant engineering, science, and mathematics education literature. It must be made abundantly clear at the outset that the processes of enculturation and its products, in terms of students’ engineering dispositions and thinking, are both of interest in this study and that dispositions and thinking in engineering intertwined (see Section 1.1). Careful examination of this study’s main research question (i.e., How do the engineering dispositions and thinking of culturally diverse students evolve through their experiences in the second year of an electrical and computer engineering program?) suggests the “how” in the question be thought of as containing a dual focus on both enculturation processes and its products. The first meaning of “how” entails an interest in the nature and dynamics of the enculturation processes. The second meaning of “how” entails an interest in the changes in students’ engineering dispositions and thinking that emerge as a result. Following Tolman’s (1991) insight that “a thing is best understood as to what it is by examining how it got that way” (p. 10), how culturally diverse students’ dispositions and thinking have changed through their participation in team-based engineering design project courses and the process by which these changes happened both have important implications.  This literature review contextualizes and informs this research by focusing on how scholars have researched processes of student change (e.g., enculturation) in complex, lived engineering and science curricula and what they have found to be the products of this  15 enculturation in terms of dispositions and thinking. Both will be done in tandem and the significance of the review will be drawn out and summarized in the final section (Section 2.10). This review will begin with a map of the engineering education research literature so as to orient the reader to the field (Section 2.2). Second, it will discuss how engineering education has been researched as disciplinary culture (Section 2.3), which provides a general picture of the products or outcomes of engineering curricula, specifically engineering dispositions and thinking. Third, the review will discuss key studies to illustrate how enculturation processes in engineering curricula have been conceptualized as assimilation, a pipeline, and pathways (Sections 2.4, 2.5), which gives a sense of how scholars have approached researching change over time. Fourth, research done on complex engineering education environments that focus on disjunctures between the planned and the lived curriculum (Section 2.6) and on learning as identity development (Section 2.7) will be discussed for their approaches, useful terminology, and findings. Fifth, a tighter focus on more recent activity theory studies will demonstrate how recent scholars have captured both the processes and products of change holistically in real-time in complex environments (Section 2.8). This study sits within this particular constellation of activity theory studies. Sixth, studies specifically focusing on culturally diverse students in engineering and science will be overviewed briefly (Section 2.9). Finally, the key points from the review for this study’s theoretical perspectives, concepts, and terminology; its methodology; and its findings and implications will be summarized for reference in later chapters (Section 2.10). Studies in this literature review were sourced in multiple ways. First, a general search was made on licensed databases (e.g., Web of Science, Academic Research Complete, Education Research Complete) and Google Scholar terms such as: engineering, enculturation, acculturation, socialization, professional identity, learning, ESL, ELL, minorities, teamwork, project based  16 learning. Second, a more targeted search was conducted in these databases to identify limited and systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses in relevant domains. Such reviews were valuable for establishing a map of the field, particularly that of the emergent engineering education research. Third, specific education-oriented research journals (e.g., Journal of Engineering Education, European Journal of Engineering Education, Cultural Studies of Science Education, Review of Higher Education) were hand searched using more targeted terms. Fourth, once 40+ key studies and papers were identified and sorted, references within key papers were followed back in time. Google Scholar was also used to identify other important related works that had referenced these key papers since publication. Finally, over 60 key works were identified, read, summarized, and synthesized. Not all studies that were selected and read are discussed in the review that follows.  2.2 A Map of the Engineering Education Research Field This review begins in the engineering education research literature. Engineering education research is a relative latecomer to education research: indeed, only since 2003 has the field’s premier publication, The Journal of Engineering Education, exclusively focused on engineering educational research (Borrego, Douglas, & Amelink, 2009). Koro-Ljungberg and Douglas (2008) note that, prior to 2006, there were very few qualitative research articles published in this key journal, of which few could be considered quality research. Borrego and Bernhard (2011), inspired by Fensham’s (2004) work in science education, was a landmark contribution because it synthesized the existing quality academic works in engineering education so as to define it as an emerging and internationally connected field of inquiry. Drawing on targeted literature reviews, general systematic literature reviews, and meta-analyses of the  17 engineering education research (Borrego, 2007; Borrego et al., 2009; Johri & Olds, 2011; Koro-Ljungberg & Douglas; Wankant, 1999, 2004; Whitin & Sheppard, 2004), Borrego and Bernhard (pp. 22-23) mapped its subdomains:  • Curriculum and instructional improvement, in which interventions are described and direct or indirect evidence of their results are presented  • Interventions targeting specific technical and professional skills following a similar pattern (e.g., design, problem solving, team work, communication, global competence)  • Skills and knowledge required by industry and accreditation  • Professional development of instructors, professors, and teaching assistants  • Assessment  • Engineering in K-12  • Lifelong learning for engineers  • Diversity, recruitment, and retention of engineering students   • Understanding student learning processes  This literature review focuses primarily on the last two subdomains on this list and related works in the STEM education literature, as these are most relevant to the focus of this study. This review indicates that engineering education research has become more nuanced in its approaches to understanding student learning processes and diversity, recruitment, and retention issues. Firstly, there has been a slow shift in the research towards reconciling cognitive science and situated learning perspectives in conducting research on student learning processes (Johri & Olds). Second, there has been a dramatic increase and acceptance of qualitative studies thanks to their capacity to inform important questions in the field (Case & Light, 2011).    18 2.3 Engineering Education as Disciplinary Culture This section discusses how engineering learning communities have been researched and understood as disciplinary culture. Drawing on Becher and Trowler's (1989) notion of university disciplines as subcultures or “academic tribes”, Kreber (2009, p. 4) cannily notes that while disciplinary knowledge in higher education programs such as engineering can be thought of as “what is looked at” (i.e., what is studied), it can also be thought of as “what is looked through or with” (i.e., how the world is viewed through such study). Going further, Donald (1995, p. 6) observes: “the method by which knowledge is arrived at in a discipline, the process of knowledge validation, and the truth criteria employed in the process are essential to the definition of the discipline.” Based on her substantial body of ethnographic research across multiple disciplines and institutions in Canada and Becher’s earlier work, Donald (2008) argues that disciplinary cultures entail particular ways of knowing, invite their own validating questions, and have their own particular educational organization or “signature pedagogies”:  Each discipline has its own organization, artifacts, assumptions and practices particular to learning and teaching. In engineering...the validation question is ‘Does it work?’ In law, principles and practices rest on the case method, argument, statute and precedent, negotiation, and the potential of multiple interpretations. The validation question is ‘Does it fit?’ In English literature the signature pedagogy is found in the rifts or dialects, in close reading and in literary criticism. The validation question is, paradoxically, given the framework of contention in this discipline, ‘Do you agree?’ (p. 47)  Donald (2002) conducted extensive research in engineering faculties of five universities in Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US from 1986 to 2002 using interviews, observations, and document analysis to understand and characterize engineering intellectual culture and what it means to become an engineer. She focused primarily on disciplinary knowledge; its structure, context, and focus; and the associated engineering thinking and dispositions from the perspective of what engineering professors reported and were observed doing as educators and of what  19 students reported and were observed learning. Donald (2008) characterizes engineering knowledge as “hard thinking: applying structured knowledge to unstructured problems” (p. 37), noting that the nature of the work, the required knowledge, and dispositions and thinking (Table 2) are central to students’ experiences in ‘becoming an engineer’ (Donald, 2002).  Table 2. Characterization of Engineering Disciplinary Culture (Donald, 2002)  Characteristic   Description  Nature of engineering work  A:* The industrial-corporate world substantially orients teachers’ and students’ awareness and shapes learning (e.g., strong ties with industry, accreditation processes exert control over learning, focus on knowledge and skills relevant to industry).   B: “Uncertainty is a defining characteristic of the arena in which engineers perform: they deal with unbounded problems with too little or too much information, and must set the limits of their problem space” (pp. 37-38).  Knowledge A: Understanding comes from joining concepts to practical activity (i.e., problem solving, design, investigation) in which fundamentals are thoughtfully applied to new problems.  B: “The knowledge and skills needed in engineering reflect both a high degree of theoretical structure and the procedures and skills for applying them” (p. 38). The curriculum is packed; students are very busy.  Engineering Dispositions and Thinking  A: Though diverse dispositions are noted in engineering professors across individuals and sub-disciplines, they see themselves as practical, pragmatic, hardworking, stable introverts whose creativity and inventiveness outstrip their communication skills.  A: Students are expected to adopt engineering thinking processes (e.g., description, selection, representation, inference, synthesis, verification, and their attendant steps) and consolidate and integrate disciplinary content knowledge and concepts into such processes or relevant systems or frameworks.  B: “Learning to be an engineer includes estimating risk and taking responsibility for their decisions…(they are) self-reliant, willing to take responsibility, act on logical advice, and keep to the point” (p. 38).  * A: Description; B: Illustrative Quote  20 Godfrey and Park (2010) complement Donald (2002) with their large ethnographic case from 1999, which mapped engineering learning culture in one institution in New Zealand. The authors collected data using questionnaires from faculty (28 people) and students (55 people), semi-structured interviews (52 students, 25 faculty), focus group discussions, observation (4 years of field notes), and document analysis. Whereas Donald (2002, 2008) focused on the intellectual culture and context of engineering education, Godfrey and Park drew from Schein’s (2010) cultural framework (i.e., artifacts, practices, behaviours as analytic categories) and focused on values and norms. Schein defines culture as:  A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid, and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems. (p. 1)  Godfrey and Park identified the values and norms of engineering culture at the institution as having six dimensions, four of which are relevant to this study (Table 3).  Donald (2002) and Godfrey and Parker’s (2010) characterizations of engineering disciplinary culture were conducted over 15 years ago before North American engineering faculties began answering later calls for engineering curricular reform (Duderstadt, 2008; National Academy of Engineering, 2005; Sheppard et al., 2009; The Canadian Academy of Engineering, 2005). While these characterizations of engineering disciplinary culture and the dispositions and thinking that comprise them may be dated, they hold significance for this study. First, Donald and also Godfrey and Parker, through their choice of Schein’s (2010) definition of culture, have effectively framed engineering dispositions and thinking, among other characteristics, as constitutive of engineering disciplinary culture. Hence, they have made a conceptual link between a generalized image of engineering disciplinary culture at schools in the  21 1990s and specific engineering dispositions and thinking that are responses to the practical work in which engineering students engage. Dispositions and thinking are constitutive of disciplinary culture, and disciplinary culture is partly comprised of dispositions and thinking.   Table 3. Map of Engineering Culture: Four of Six Dimensions (Godfrey & Parker, 2010)  Dimension   Description  An engineering way of thinking  Mathematical representation omnipresent Visual communication prevails Problem solving and design are critical skills ‘Best’ over ‘right’ answers Engineering knowledge is ‘race and gender free’  An engineering way of doing Anything worth doing is ‘hard’: “a meritocracy of difficulty” ‘Soft’ (e.g., professional development: teamwork, communication, ethics) is valued Learning entails shared hardship, which is a natural part of the learning process Co-operation, collaboration highly valued Instrumental views on learning: passing vs. understanding; time is a limited resource  Being an engineer  High academic achievers: ‘can do’ people Numerate, practical, pragmatic, tough, self-reliant, capable, conventional Not emotionally demonstrative or concerned with appearance, self-deprecatory Strong group identity and pride as engineers Work hard-play hard mentality, identity ‘gendered’ to some degree  Gradual acceptance of difference   Respect and inclusion for diverse ideas and people gradually increasing, fostered by evidence of technical competence, high achievement, and communication skills   Second, Donald (2002) and Godfrey and Parker’s (2010) findings add to a broader understanding of engineering dispositions and thinking that informed the interpretation of data in this doctoral study. The engineering dispositions and thinking identified in these studies were not taken as a framework of indicators to drive this study; rather, they served to contextualize it. Hence, they are taken as general descriptions or reference points for what might be observed  22 rather than as a framework or what becomes internalized by individual students from the disciplinary culture in an unmediated, uncomplicated fashion.  Third, Donald (2002) and Godfrey and Parker’s (2010) findings add weight to how engineering dispositions and thinking have been defined for this study. Following from Section 1.1, engineering dispositions are taken as “the sum total of an individual’s characteristic tendencies, such as basic temperament, attitudes, inclinations, and drives” (Corsini, 2002, p. 288) as they relate to engineering work. Engineering thinking is defined as patterns of intellectual behaviour, or habits of mind, with respect to engineering work, which entails a composite of thinking processes, skills, approaches, and attitudes which includes systems thinking, creative problem solving, task analysis, and collaboration. Also noted in Section 1.1 is that given the applied, contextual, and social nature of engineering work (Bucciarelli, 1994), whenever a disposition is manifest, thinking is implied - these cannot be disentangled from one another. Upon careful examination of Tables 2 and 3, it should not be difficult to see the interconnectivity of engineering dispositions and engineering thinking. In Donald’s findings, for example, it should not be surprising that the nature of engineering work (e.g., dealing with unbounded problems), engineering thinking processes (e.g., selection, representation, inference), and a pragmatic and inventive disposition presuppose each other. Hence, these engineering dispositions and thinking from Donald and Godfrey and Parker’s studies are drawn out as reference points in Section 2.10 and treated as one for the purposes of interpretation of this study’s data and further discussion in later chapters. This review now moves from engineering disciplinary learning culture to examine how enculturation has been conceived and researched in engineering and science.    23 2.4 Enculturation in STEM Education: Assimilation and the “Leaky Pipeline” The topics of diversity, recruitment, and retention in engineering and science education programs are key drivers of research into engineering culture and enculturation (Borrego & Bernhard, 2011). While the orientation of this body of STEM literature is towards retention, equity, and social justice issues, it is relevant to this study for what it has to say about how enculturation has been conceived and researched. As Godfrey and Parker (2010) points out, “until very recently, research specifically investigating the culture of engineering education has only arisen in the context of women’s lack of participation” (p. 5). Both engineering and science have had perennial and disproportionate difficulties recruiting and retaining women and minorities in North American and European programs (Seymour, 2002; Seymour & Hewitt, 1997; Ulriksen, Masden, & Holmegaard, 2010). Such concerns for retention have catalyzed research around diversity, engineering culture, enculturation, and engineering identity development and inspired the widely used metaphor of the “leaky pipeline” to characterize the problem (Stevens, O’Connor, Garrison, Jocuns, & Amos, 2008). Until recently, the “leaky pipeline” problem (i.e., of recruitment and retention) was the research focus of a raft of largely quantitative studies (Harvey, Drew, & Smith, 2006; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005; Ulriksen et al.) aimed at characterizing the problem and offering solutions to stop the leakage.  The wide acceptance of Tinto’s (1987) model of student leaving in the “leaky pipeline” literature says much about the predominant thinking around the processes of enculturation in higher education. Tinto’s process-oriented model rejects psychological approaches to student leaving as they focus on the traits of the individual, leaving interactions between individuals and the institution untouched. Instead, he focuses on students leaving or staying as a process. Tinto draws on Van Gennep’s (1960) socio-anthropological theory of rites of passage, which  24 characterizes the process of enculturation as a border crossing with distinct stages (separation, transition, integration) by which individuals leave one culture and become integrated into another. Tinto also draws on Durkheim’s (1952) theory of suicide, which understands the phenomenon in relation to the lack of social and intellectual integration in society. While Tinto’s model is credited with treating retention and attrition as a multi-faceted longitudinal process of social and intellectual integration or non-integration into subcultures on campus, it has also been criticized as implicitly assimilative (Tierney, 1999; Ulriksen et al., 2010). Tierney argues that this model and, through its wide acceptance, the predominant thinking on post-secondary education rests on assimilation where “the success of the initiates – that is, the students – (is) dependent upon the degree to which they are able to integrate into the social and academic life of postsecondary institutions” (p. 82). Ironically, Tierney instead uses Durkheim to argue that such assimilative perspectives amount to “cultural suicide” for minority students. This notion of education as assimilation is evident in undergraduate engineering education in North America, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand (Donald, 2002; Godfrey & Parker, 2010). Van Gennep’s (1960) rite of passage phrase and its variants are widely used to describe the process of becoming an engineer. A two-year study in New Zealand (Clark et al., 2008, p. 323), for example, collected data through questionnaires, semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, observations, and documents (numbers of participants unreported) in order to understand enculturation and professional identity development in undergraduate science and engineering learning communities at one institution. The study was guided by sociocultural theory and conceptualized learning in the sciences as a border crossing into a new culture (Aikenhead, 1996) in which students acquired a new identity as a legitimate peripheral practitioner in an engineering learning community (Lave & Wenger, 1991). The authors  25 superficially conclude “students are rapidly enculturated into their higher education learning communities and quickly take on board the culture developed by lecturers and tutors” (p. 323). Similar in approach, Dryburgh (1999) investigated the key factors that influenced how female engineering students became professionalized at one Canadian institution. Dryburgh performed content analysis on observational, semi-structured interviews (15 people), focus groups (3 groups) data. Her findings identify key themes concerning how female students internalize engineering identities, including the need to adapt to the work-hard culture, demonstrate competence, be nonthreatening, and project a confident image. The researcher notes that female engineering students need to manage others’ impressions of them as they adapt to the professional culture. These and similar studies (e.g., Clark et al.; Matsukovich, Barry, Meyers, & Louis, 2011; Pierrakos, Beam, Constantz, Johri, & Anderson, 2009) serve as examples of how early sociocultural theoretical perspectives on enculturation were employed to arrive at uncomplicated views of enculturation in engineering as simple assimilation, an approach this study has sought to avoid.  Calls have been made in North America for more nuanced conceptions and approaches to researching student recruitment and retention and the larger questions of learning and enculturation in engineering and STEM (Seymour & Hewitt, 1997; Seymour, 2002; Ulriksen et al., 2010; Holmegaard, Madsen, & Ulriksen, 2014). Seymour and Hewitt (1997) and Seymour (2002) demonstrated that those who leave or stay in STEM are indistinguishable in terms of academic standing. They question the beliefs and practices evident in science and engineering faculties of weeding out students and suggest that the culture and context of STEM programs require more careful examination. Ulriksen et al. call for a more nuanced approach to understanding the problem, leading the same authors (Holmegaard et al.) to later write:  26 Recent research has shifted the focus from perceiving success and retention as solely a question of students’ adaptation to institutional requirements towards retention as a relation between the students and the culture of the program they enter and also an increasing concern for issues of identity. (p. 758)  While this study is not explicitly focused on retention issues, by association, it benefits from this body of literature, which has moved the conversation away from “leaky pipeline” metaphors and engineering education as assimilation. This is significant because it appears that the aims and approaches of contemporary studies to researching enculturation in science and engineering are shifting towards gaining more nuanced understandings. This is evidenced by several clusters of studies that moved the metaphor of enculturation and learning from the “leaky pipeline” to pathways and beyond. The next sections will discuss the planned versus the lived curriculum (Section 2.5), engineering identity (Section 2.6), enculturation in science and math (Section 2.7), and culturally diverse students in engineering (Section 2.8), which all hold significance for this study.  2.5 Enculturation in Engineering: Moving from Pipeline to Pathways Stevens et al. (2008) conducted a longitudinal ethnographic case study employing surveys, interviews, and participant observation to capture change in 40 students over the four years of their program at one American engineering school, with intensive qualitative data collection on eight of the forty students. This study is the most relevant part of a larger academic pathways study (Sheppard et al., 2004) for this study. The authors explicitly rejected the pipeline for a pathways metaphor and used person-centered ethnography (Hollan & Wellenkamp, 1994; LeVine, 1982) so as to “recover the person” by focusing on individual students as they attempted to make themselves into or as they were made into engineers in formal and informal learning  27 contexts. The researchers identified three critical and inter-related dimensions of becoming an engineer (developing accountable disciplinary knowledge, forming an identity of an engineer, navigating through engineering education) and illustrated them with two short narratives. The first dimension, developing accountable disciplinary knowledge, recognizes that what counts as disciplinary knowledge varies with time, situation, and place; something that students had to navigate. Stevens et al. challenge the notion of a stable body of engineering disciplinary knowledge, arguing for a far more dis-unified and contextually variable view of what it means to have and use it. This is significant because distributed cognition is a feature of engineering design teams (Pea, 1993; Bucciarelli, 1994) and the knowledge that becomes valued in team-based design has implications for the focus of collective practical activity and individual students’ access to opportunities to learning through the delegation of tasks and roles. Stevens et al. (2008) also identified several shifts in knowledge over the duration of the programs they researched:  • Highly-structured  Open-ended problems in engineering science courses  • Perfect world  Real world contexts in problem framing and design  • Individual  Team-based work and assessment practices  • Origin of data: Data as given  Data as student-generated    • Learning activities: Content included  Supplementary content required   • Instructors: Lecturers  Coaches  These findings are significant because they indicate the shifting nature of expectations, experiences, and modes of study that culturally diverse students will be presented with as they move from traditional modes of study in first year to team-based design in second year. These  28 findings are very similar to the shifts students in this doctoral research experienced by participating in the Design I and II courses, which were similarly characterized by a shift to open-ended problems, real world contexts, team based modes of work, and student-centered learning.  The second of Stevens et al.’s (2008) dimensions (i.e., forming an identity of an engineer) has a dual nature: students need to identify with engineering and also need to be identified as engineers, as seen in other studies on learning as identity development (e.g., Tonso, 2006a, 2006b), to be discussed in Section 2.7. Such issues of identification with engineering, as observed in teamwork in this doctoral study, were important with respect to roles and access to learning opportunities. The third dimension, navigating through engineering education, describes the routes by which students move through the program and their consequences of their navigations. The researchers observed two students’ official and unofficial routes into and through an engineering program and characterized how they “stayed on” or “fell off the flowchart” depending on their approach, resources, and the program’s navigational flexibility.  In terms of theoretical focus and methodology, Stevens et al. (2008) is similar in focus to this doctoral study because it is a person-centered ethnography that attempts to capture how students develop along their pathways or trajectories over time. It draws attention to several key points in lived curricula that affect students’ access to opportunities to develop engineering dispositions and thinking: the value ascribed to knowledge, shifts in the lived curriculum over time, and issues of identification and navigation. These findings complement Donald (2002) and Godfrey and Parker (2010) by providing a sense of the curriculum-as-lived by students (Aoki et al., 2005) over time. However, while the researchers claim to take a nuanced focus on pathways and “recovering the person”, they appeared to strike a balance between a focus on the general  29 program (i.e., identifying the three dimensions) and a nuanced focus on particular students (i.e., person-centered accounts). It appears that the researchers remained close to the pipeline metaphor by retaining a whole program focus over four years, drawing out three dimensions to characterize the programs, and providing accounts of how two students who “stayed on” or “went off the flowchart” as a secondary focus. The two students’ dilemmas of navigation are interesting because they bring hidden phenomenon into relief, allowing for the researchers to interpret the outcomes their study. Yet, Stevens et al. remained somewhat close to the pipeline metaphor in how they selected and represented their data: they focused on an overall account of the program and placed the students’ stories in a secondary, illustrative role. As reported, they did not fully explain the dynamics of students’ enculturation or truly “recover the person” in all their complexity.   2.6 The Planned Versus the Lived Curriculum Stevens et al.’s (2008) identification of dilemmas as driving students’ individual navigations of their programs opens the door to a body of research relevant to this study’s focus on lived engineering curricula. Newstetter (1998) employed ethnographic methods to investigate how four students in a third year mechanical engineering class of 30 students at an American engineering school understood and participated in their first team-based design experience, where and why difficulties were encountered, and how students made use of social and material affordances, intended by professors to support their learning, in often unexpected ways. Newstetter employed sociocultural and activity theory (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Leontʹev, 1978) and distributed cognition (Pea, 1993) perspectives in her student engineering design case study. She found a mismatch between the perspectives on engineering study that professors espoused  30 and enacted through their course design and teaching and the tacit assumptions students had of their study, which shaped how they responded to the team-based design project tasks (Table 4).   Table 4. Professor and Student Conceptions of Study (Newstetter, 1998)  Focus  Professor conception  Student conception    Illustrative Quotes (p. 122-125)    Goal of course  Conceptual understanding  Procedures, methods  “Conceptual understanding is to be glossed over as just another set of methods and procedures to be mastered or cleverly faked to pass the course.”   Meaning of activities  Vehicles for learning  Tasks to complete  “Opportunities for learning about the design process are represented as tasks to be completed and handed in.”    Function of assignments  Development of know-how  Create busy work   “The observed team dutifully plotted out the problem space using these graphic tools as required by the assignment, but it was clear from discussions that the team members never appreciated the affordances of these tools for exploring a problem domain.”  Function of tools  Distribute cognition  Impede task completion  “The numerous cognitive tools…to manage planning and software packages are not tools, but impediments to speedy task completion.”  Role of collaboration  Promote learning  Divide and conquer  “Different forms of expertise failed to get passed around. Apprenticeship opportunities were ignored…tasks were processed in parallel so as to reach completion as soon as possible”   The gaps Newstetter (1998) identifies between professors’ conceptions and intentions and students’ conceptions and practices in the lived curriculum delves deeper than Stevens et al. (2008) with respect to how students navigate pathways through engineering. Newstetter makes a number of interesting observations. The first relates to the educational value of soft-prototyping (i.e., representing: ideation, paper work, model building) and hard-prototyping (i.e., building the  31 physical project) in design. While hard-prototyping is more traditionally thought of as design, she argues the value is really in the soft-prototyping because it is knowledge rather than production oriented. Newstetter also notes that since the students have been trained from kindergarten to complete teacher-initiated tasks, they persist in doing schooling rather than studying engineering: “old ontologies die hard” (p.126), particularly given the workload and time pressures in the lived curriculum. Second, she notes that “less is more” (p. 127), in that less complex design projects, more support on how to collaborate, and earlier introduction of key design tools can help students from defaulting to their old study patterns due to the pressures of workload, marks, and time. Third, she notes that “teacher-orchestrated reflection on learning is necessary but not sufficient” (p. 127) to promote reflective design practice and that teachers need to find ways of encouraging students to extract important understandings from their design experiences.  Newstetter (1998) offers a rare and nuanced example in the engineering education literature into tensions and contradictions between espoused and lived curriculum in team-based engineering design courses that has important implications for this study. She identifies a key contradiction between professor (i.e., teaching team-based engineering design) and student (i.e., doing schooling) conceptions of study, which makes visible what students potentially experience and how they develop in the lived curriculum. So, while it might be tempting to assume students approach project tasks in predictable ways, they may respond to them in ways that run counter to the intended outcomes. The brands of task division and distributed cognition observed in a team-based project mode of study by Newstetter similarly have consequences for the actual change that occurs, a point that is significant for this doctoral study. The study also coins some useful concepts in engineering design: hard versus soft prototyping and divide-and-conquer task  32 division and completion. This terminology will be employed in Chapters 7 and 8 in interpreting the findings and discussing implications in this study.  Holland and Reeves (1996) is another interesting activity theory study on teamwork in software engineering. Their study employed ethnographic methods to investigate how the cognitive tasks of designing programs and writing code in a software engineering course were embedded within the socially organized activities of three teams. In particular, the research focused on each team’s use and reuse of the intellectual resources they produced (e.g., drawings, charts, meeting minutes) and the technology at hand. In their words, their task was to explicate “the intellectual work of programming as it is situated within a set of historically emergent activities and technologies” (p. 258). The aim of the software engineering course was to prepare students for careers working on large-scale programming projects. Instructors became bosses, so to speak, and integrated real world projects, industry and business oriented content, practices, and conduct into the course. The researchers found that although the institution, the instructors, and the course set some conditions that directed students’ attention, they could not dictate the focus of the study that actually occurred in teams. Teams construed their work in different ways, resulting in highly variable and disparate work practices and outcomes of study. The manner in which the teams organized their activities had the effect of circumventing the intended outcomes of the course to varying degrees (Holland & Reeves): Team A saw its project as an opportunity to develop an elegant, efficient program; Team B focused on satisfying institutional demands in exchange for institutional rewards (a good grade); and Team C became so enmeshed in internal and external struggles that the relationships among its members frequently became the object of its work. (p. 258)    33 Their findings confound common assumptions that the work of teams proceeds from a rational and goal-oriented perspective and that there is some consistency to the collective goals and organization of work across teams. Holland and Reeves (1996) draw on sociocultural theory (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and activity theory (Engeström, 1987; Leontʹev, 1978) to explain how different groups create different intellectual tasks and develop different “takes” or “perspectives” on doing the project because they have some degree of freedom in controlling and directing their work. As an example, a task intended by instructors to support the goal of completing the project became the goal itself. Teams completed the task as such without much discussion, suggesting that an unspoken consensus existed - a perspective on doing the project - that equated to doing schooling, but did not make much sense in relation to workplace practices.  Going beyond Newstetter (1998), Holland and Reeves (1996) show in their data how a given team jointly and discursively constructed a perspective on the project through a collective process of sharing informal histories and rationales that congealed into an emergent team culture, history, rationale, and ethos. As they note from Carroll et al. (1992),“they (the students) ‘make’ a history and rationale for their project by telling stories among themselves” (p. 59). The concepts of team perspective and emergent team culture in projects are important for this doctoral study because they trouble simplistic ideas inherent in other studies (e.g., Clark et al., 2008; Dryburgh, 1999) about the nature of enculturation as being an unmediated and unproblematic conditioning and assimilation of individuals into a professional disciplinary learning culture. A final implication from this study is the concept of inner contradictions, an activity theory term (Leontʹev, 1978) used to describe what drives evolution and change in humans participating in collective activity (see Chapter 3). The researchers observed systemic contradictions between doing schooling and conducting a large scale programming project that drove the teams in  34 disparate ways. This resonates with contradictions reported in Newstetter and the dilemmas, tensions, and disjunctures in Stevens et al. Although a lot has changed technologically since the 1990s when these studies were conducted, the particular dynamics and context – of team-based engineering design in a complex environment – are relevant and informative today. Though dated, these present model contexts where similar dynamics became manifest, as were observed in this PhD study. In these studies, the complex dynamics at work in design teams and the resulting focus of study yield useful reference points, concepts, and terminology that will be discussed in later chapters. Contemporary studies adopting more nuanced approaches to researching such dynamics are discussed in Section 2.8.     2.7 Engineering Identity   Early studies focusing on engineering identity such as Tonso (1996) and Ambrose, Lazarus, and Nair (1998) never entertained the engineering education as assimilation and “leaky pipeline” metaphors around diversity in engineering. At a time when qualitative studies were rare in the engineering education literature, Ambrose et al. (1998) noted that "statistics can give us the warning, or encouraging signs, but it is the individual story that provides the context … we need the ecology of the data and the stories that go with each of the individuals who make up that data" (p. 363). Ambrose et al. provided the ecology of the data through narrative analysis and accounts of individual women, often minorities, in engineering and science. In a similar vein, others studies (e.g., Carlone & Johnson, 2007; Hughes, 2001; Tate & Linn, 2005) also offer rich insights. While these examples of narrative inquiry are interesting and address engineering identity relevant to culturally diverse students in engineering, they mostly do not focus on the complex milieu of engineering design teamwork and so are noted but not discussed.   35 Four studies (Kittleson & Southerland, 2004; Tonso, 2006a; Tonso, 2006b; Walker, 2001) research engineering identity in teams with a particular focus on gender, offering relevant insights into identity development in mixed gender groups. Tonso (2006a; 2006b) report on insightful ethnographic research on culture, identity, and gender in engineering teamwork. Tonso (2006b) investigated how mixed male and female teams do design work and the ways in which campus culture reaches into social interactions between teammates via “engineering identities produced on campus”. Such identities are represented as localized cultural knowledge that students employ to present themselves as engineers and to recognize others' identification or performances as engineers. Interestingly, Tonso (2006a) details the complex pre-professional engineering identities on one campus (e.g., high status: leader, geek, hacker, nerd; low status: loner, squid, curve-breaker, frat boy, sorority chick) and investigates how people performed such engineering identities and whether these garnered them recognition as engineers. She argued that, unlike men, women may identify themselves through effective performances as engineers (i.e., show/have the abilities, bearing, appearance, behaviour etc. of engineers) but may not be identified by others as engineers. As such, she argues it is harder for women to garner a valid engineering student identity and, hence, belonging among their peers, a claim that has been substantiated since by more recent studies (e.g., Phipps, 2007; Powell, Bagilhole, & Dainty, 2009; Powell, Dainty, & Bagilhole, 2012). These studies do not address these issues within the context of design teamwork. Tonso (2006b) reported findings on two mixed gender project design teams in an educational context in which instruction in teamwork, communication, and professional skills was left largely unaddressed by the lecturers. Tonso argued that belonging as an engineer entailed both identifying and being identified as having a viable, locally produced engineering  36 identity (e.g., nerdboy, hacker, sorority chick, curve breaker, squid). She also observed that people with different ways of belonging (i.e., different engineering identities) brought the associated position and status into the social order into teamwork interactions. In the first team, three students with high status engineering identities actively exploited two highly capable students (one male, one female) with low or no engineering identity status. The female student was known as the workhorse of the team, yet her impressive contributions did nothing to garner her recognition and belonging as an engineer. In the second team, three students with identities as nerds and high-achievers were the de facto leaders of the team that included two Greeks (a frat boy, sorority woman) who did very little. In contrast to the first team, the second team achieved excellent results and had respectful interactions: the loafers were tolerated. Tonso’s key contribution is her summary description of the complex team dynamics and how the status of the engineering identities shaped team interactions, work practices, and roles, all below the instructors’ radar. She recommended structuring team-based design projects by making teamwork expectations explicit, balancing gender composition, incorporating formative feedback, monitoring, and training faculty how to facilitate effective and equitable teamwork practices in student teams. A merit of Tonso’s (2006b) study is its attempt to grapple with the complexity of the context by focusing on how culture at the macro level (i.e., engineering identities on campus, curricular structures, campus routines, practices) affected interactions, roles, and ultimately individual and team experiences at the micro level of the team to produce certain practices. However, a more nuanced and satisfying reckoning of the space between the macro and micro level is missing. Tonso seems to suggest that local engineering identities and institutional structures flow in an unmediated fashion to shape individuals and teams. The study also appears  37 to essentialize identity to a great degree with its use of engineering identity terms and to present teams and individuals as static and unevolving. Admittedly, perhaps this was not her goal. Yet, Tonso (2006a; 2006b, 1996) were groundbreaking as more nuanced approaches to researching how the complex milieu affects engineering identity development in design projects. Though dated, Tonso’s studies present model contexts and important reference points for how gender, identity, and roles in team-based projects become manifest and shape students' development.  Walker (2001) focused on gendered enculturation in engineering through narrative inquiry. She asked why women’s participation in engineering programs remains low when shifts in British society and institutional policy and programs have promoted gender balance for some time. Employing identity theory perspectives, she focused on how the contemporary identities and constructions of self - of belonging and not belonging - are shaped in and through an engineering program characterized by asymmetrical gender power relations. Walker’s narrative inquiry yields nuanced accounts of how women’s engineering identities are constituted. Quoting Castells (1997), Walker identified how female students in the design team reported projected legitimate identities (i.e., identities sustained by the dominant institutions in society), resistance identities (i.e., identities generated on the margins in opposition by the excluded), and project identities (i.e., new identities aimed at redefining, transforming societal structure). Students were reported to identify, counter-identify, or dis-identify with the dominant discourse in their engineering learning environment (Pesheux, 1982, in Walker). For example, one narrative account shows how one female student emphasized differences between them and their non-engineering female peers and projected legitimate identities that were aligned with those of their male classmates. In doing so, their identity construction did not destabilize the dominant gendered structure of engineering identities.   38 As seen in Tonso (2006b), female students encountered more difficulty being seen as engineers compared to their male counterparts. For example, they were perceived as more organized and hardworking than their male peers, but this did not afford them a status as an academically talented engineering student. Walker’s (2001) narrative analysis revealed how men and women alike re-inscribe dominant notions of masculinity and femininity onto engineering identities in a way that is restrictive to both, suggesting that access is not enough: as long as this dynamic remains in place, few women will pursue engineering careers. This claim is substantiated in many other more recent studies (e.g., Phipps, 2007; Powell, Bagilhole, & Dainty, 2009; Powell, Dainty, & Bagilhole, 2012). Tonso and Walker provide important insights and useful terminology for this study around issues of engineering identity construction, which will be employed in this study: identifying, being identified, and dis-identifying as an engineer.  Kittleson and Southerland’s (2004) in-depth case study in one mechanical engineering team over two terms of design projects provides similar findings through their investigation into how students in teams negotiate concepts and the factors that afford and constrain the process. Their study follows a cluster of studies in science education (e.g., Bianchini, 1997; Hughes, 2001; Kelly & Crawford, 1997; Moje & Shepardson, 1998; Richmond & Striley, 1996) which reveal how identity and meaning are constructed in teams and how issues of gender, knowledge, status, and leadership condition who participate and who is excluded from roles. As an example of such studies, chosen for its focus on knowledge and concept negotiation in design projects, Kittleson and Southerland revealed several themes relevant to this study with respect to status, roles, and the development of engineering dispositions and thinking: • Pulling off ‘being an engineer’ requires participants to enact particular discourses associated with ways of thinking, acting, valuing, and using tools and technologies that help other people recognize them as engineers    39 • Having and being recognized as someone who has shared engineering knowledge was important to the communication and work flow of the team.   • An academically stratified hierarchy did not emerge: status within the team was defined by participation (i.e., time spent on project) and access to resources, technical authority  • Roles and the division of labour were based on a person’s abilities, experience, or strengths; work was delegated and completed in parallel using a divide and conquer strategy, thus limiting the collaborative learning the instructors sought to foster  • Students professed their goal to construct understanding of the project’s underlying phenomenon, whereas the team’s culture of efficiency precluded much of this kind of learning in preference for completing the project tasks in a timely manner  • Discourse was characterized by an objectivist/realist and utilitarian orientation towards tool use and the application of scientific concepts   Many of these findings resonate with the contradictions identified in Newstetter (1998) between instructors’ intentions and actual student learning. This study also adds balance to Tonso (2006b) and Walker (2001) through its findings that students’ capacity to be recognized as engineers, and hence have technical authority, depends on factors oriented around knowledge, thinking, and effort that are actually relevant to being an engineer (i.e., ways of thinking; possessing, sharing knowledge/its application, hard work). This suggests a limit to the capacity of factors irrelevant to being an engineer (e.g., gender, privileged campus identities) in conferring identity and status on students. They actually have to be able to know and do engineering in order to be recognized as engineers. Tonso (2006a; 2006b), Walker (2001), Kittleson and Southerland (2004), and Stevens et al. (2008) provide far more nuanced and subject-oriented accounts than the “leaky pipeline” studies. While they focus on the dynamics of engineering identity development and teamwork practices, they also take the environment, the team, and the individuals to be relatively static over time. These studies offer valuable insight and terminology, which will be summarized in Section  40 2.10. Additional studies that were reviewed have called for research that addresses change in complex contexts: Ingram and Parker’s (2002) micro-ethnography; Foor, Walden, and Trytten’s (2007) ethnography of the particular; and Malone and Barbarion’s (2009) real-time science. Several activity theory studies that answer such calls are now discussed.   2.8 Enculturation in Science and Math: Towards a Holistic View for Engineering Studies employing a broad range of activity theory frameworks occupy a unique position in STEM education research because they hold potential for capturing change - real-time science - emerging in students in complex contexts without being reductive or overly simplistic. While several studies based on the theoretical and analytical perspectives of activity theory are discussed in this section, a complete overview of activity theory as a theoretical framework will be provided in Chapter 3.  Barab et al. (2002) is discussed here because it is an early study which attempted to observe the emergence of new science conceptions on short time scales and track their evolution over longer ones. They examined how scientific understanding emerged in the complex dynamics of students, technology, rules, and classroom micro-culture in a technology rich introductory astronomy course. Multiple data sources (participant observation, pre-/post-course interviews, retrospective recall interviews, document/artifact analysis) were collected in this work-intensive ethnography. Audiovisual recordings of student-student and student-technology interactions allowed researchers to capture what they called action-relevant episodes involving the negotiation of meaning over minute time scales. Researchers pieced multiple networks of such episodes together so as to explicate how understanding developed real-time and to link it over longer time scales of lessons and the course. The authors used the trajectories revealed by  41 the networks of action-relevant episodes to bring tensions or contradictions in the course into relief. First, the researchers found that students building astronomical models did not interfere with their learning of the content knowledge: skills and understandings were observed to co-evolve. Second, a contradiction was identified between teacher-directed instruction and the student-directed study: the local rules, micro-culture, and teamwork that emerged around building and sharing models took precedence over the outcomes intended by the teacher. The study’s focus on contradictions as drivers of learning resonates with Newstetter (1998) and Holland and Reeves (1996) and is a point of focus that was employed in this doctoral study. Third, Barab et al. proposed a method of tracking discrete events on short time scales and showing how they accumulate to produce conceptual change over longer time scales. They found it difficult to connect incremental action-relevant episodes over long time scales in ways that were convincing, which raises a methodological conundrum for the study in deciding what on short time scales is significant on longer ones. This conundrum will be discussed in Chapter 4.  Esmonde, Takeuchi, and Radakovic (2011) conducted an ethnographic study on collaborative work in three high school mathematics classrooms over the duration of a year in the United States. The study was focusing on the collaborative task types/activities and group interactions that could best support learning. Drawing on activity theory, they focused on the details of individual social interactions in team problem solving on short time scales (i.e., microgenesis) to understand how people change over time in solving recurring problem types (i.e., ontogenesis), and in turn to understand how teams change over time as they build on each others’ successes and disseminate new and old ways of solving problems (sociogenesis). Sociogenesis is another way of saying emergent culture, small-scale culture/history, or micro-history/culture. These terms mean that members participating in collective activity jointly  42 construct meanings about the group. The researchers identified over a hundred “difficulty episodes” or conflicts in interaction around mathematical inscriptions (i.e., in posters, notebooks, textbooks), which served as analytically significant moments for understanding the evolving history and culture of the teams. Analysis of these episodes, specifically the use and evolution of inscriptions revealed that:  • Small-scale culture and history exists at the heart of any classroom interaction  • Schooling contains within it dual motives: learning math and doing school  • Students black boxed1 concepts and did not routinely describe their thinking  • Non-task relevant talk in teams might promote academic risk taking  The researchers concluded that multiple histories and motives afford and constrain student learning in teams and student success cannot be discussed without considering these. In a clear methodological implication for this study, Esmonde et al. exemplifies an activity theory approach to making observations on short time scales in complex learning environments so as to make sense of evolution and change over longer time scales.  Two other activity theory studies in science education took into account complex learning environments along with the formation of identity in a holistic way so as to capture and explain change. Roth et al. (2004) demonstrated how the identities of a science student and a science teacher were continuously made and remade in a complex school setting. In their approach, the authors stipulated that “an individual, a tool, or a community cannot be theorized in an independent manner but must be understood in terms of the historically changing, mediated relations in which they are integral and constitutive parts” (p. 48). Drawing from Penuel and 1 To black-box concepts means to deal with something complex by simply dealing with its inputs and outputs, sometimes without a deep understanding.  43                                                  Wertsch (1995), the authors focused on the following: the student in settings where the formation of identities is at stake by virtue of participation in activity through contradictions; the identification of cultural and historical resources as enabling and constraining tools in identity formation; and mediated action as the basic unit of analysis. Through what can be described as a tight weaving of theory and narrative, the authors provide a nuanced explanatory account of how a student evolved from being a street fighter to being an A-student and how a teacher changed from being someone unable to control a class to being a respected teacher. This study accounts for identity formation in a way that is neither reductive nor simplistic. A second later study by Roth (2013) tracked a young woman across contexts and time in pursuing her goals of graduating from high school, studying science, and becoming a doctor. Taking identity as multiple, contingent, and contextual in the manner of Mead rather than Erikson, Roth (2013) drew on the activity theory perspectives of Leont’ev (1978) to formulate a theoretical and analytical approach to explain how, through a person’s participation in many activities within their life, they inhabit a hierarchical web of life activities, each with their associated motives and identities. Roth showed in careful detail how, over years, a young woman’s primary motive of getting into medical school drives her engagement in science in formal and informal contexts of study and work. He demonstrated how her multifaceted identity is driven by the dominant motive of attending medical school until her experiences cause a shift in the hierarchy and she goes off the flowchart, drops the idea and, predictably, her engagement in science. This exemplar shows how becoming an engineer might be conceptualized in terms of competing identities and activities across the spheres of a person’s life so as to yield a nuanced explanatory account of their evolution and change.    44 2.9 Culturally Diverse Students in Engineering and Science This section briefly overviews the limited literature on culturally diverse students in engineering and science and then identifies three factors that potentially affect their development in this mode of study. While a rich body of research has been evaluated, synthesized, and discussed through this review, very few studies were found of culturally diverse students in team-based project modes of study. The studies on minorities in STEM (Section 2.4) are important; however, they are framed in the cultural, historical, and socio-economic conditions of the US. A major review of the research on English Language Learners in science education by Lee (2005) identifies a lack of studies on this topic:  Future research need to conceptualize the interrelated effects of language and culture on students’ science learning in more nuanced ways. Furthermore, there is a need for studies that combine multiple theoretical perspectives on science learning, rather than focusing on one to the exclusion of others. (p. 513)  Focusing mainly on K-12, Lee added “a major future area of research should be the linguistic and cultural experiences that ELLs bring to the science classroom and the articulation of these experiences with science disciplines” (p. 153). Given the prominence and pedigree of K-12 science education research, her identification of ELLs in K-12 science as an emerging field in 2005 suggests that research on culturally diverse students in post-secondary engineering education contexts is even less common. This literature review confirmed this to be the case.  One important body of research on culturally diverse students in post-secondary contexts from a language perspective focuses on immigrant and international students and language socialization. Duff (2010) systematically reviewed the literature on how international and immigrant students are socialized into the language communities of their disciplines: doctoral students in physics, law students (Mertz, 2007), first year undergraduate students in the US  45 (Leki, 1995), medical students (Hobbs, 2004), and Japanese studies in undergraduate degrees (Morita, 2004). However, these studies focused mainly on genres and language practices in these various speech communities and tend not to address teamwork. One exception is a study by Vickers (2007), which examined language socialization in a student engineering team working on design projects in electrical and computer engineering.  Vickers (2007) researched how interactional processes in a student design team socialized an Indonesian immigrant ESL student into the team’s speech norms. Vickers used communities of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and language socialization (Watson-Gegeo, 2004) perspectives and ethnographic methods to capture and examine naturalistic language socialization processes in project meetings over two terms. She characterized the norms and valued knowledge in the general context and the speech communities and participant structure at the team level. Vickers found that the ability to effectively linguistically display technical content knowledge was an important way in which engineering students gained status, controlled topics, and ensured their ideas were incorporated into designs. By analyzing participation in the form of demonstrated linguistic and technical expertise during design meetings, Vickers observed how students adopted locally constructed roles as core, novice, peripheral, and non-participant members. The only non-native English-speaking student in the team began as a novice. Through experience, observation, control of content knowledge, and the scaffolding, confidence building, ridicule, and opportunities provided by expert members, he earned an identity of competence, becoming a core member by the end of the course in a punctuated fashion. This shift from novice to expert began with the student demonstrating competence in solving design problems and then improving his control of language so he could explain the viability of his solutions.   46 Vickers’ (2007) study is interesting for several reasons. First, it focuses tightly and deeply on socialization through interaction and language use to the exclusion of other cultural, historical, and material factors in the learning context. Second, all except one of the students were native English speakers, which differs from this doctoral study in which all are from different East Asian countries. While it is easy for Vickers (2007) to assume that socialization occurs to a norm, in this doctoral study, participants are from different linguistic and cultural groups. There is no normal - the team can be thought of as a hybrid or third-space (Gutiérrez, Baquedano-López, & Tejeda, 1999). Vickers (2007) is an excellent example of how interactions can be captured and analyzed real-time and their effects accounted for and explained over longer time scales. It also reveals how mastery of language and disciplinary knowledge as an indivisible whole is a critical engineering competence. Finally, it emphasizes the need for researchers to attend to team participatory structures and the links between the claiming of roles and the outcomes of enculturation.  This section now goes on to identify three factors that potentially influence the development of engineering dispositions and thinking among culturally diverse students in team-based projects in this study. Biggs and Tang (2011) note that a host of factors mediate culturally diverse students’ learning in higher education, some of which are unique to them (i.e., learning in English; cultural, social isolation) and others that mediate all students’ development. These include the level of engagement a given student has with respect to tasks, the degree to which lecturers and classes stimulate them, and their academic orientation. While this does not deny the unique challenges of culturally diverse students, it also does not mean that all of their challenges are unique to them.   47 In the context of this study, students are transitioning from traditional to team-based project modes of study where activities come to be organized around projects and social interaction. Thomas (2000) defines project-based learning as having these characteristics: projects are central, not peripheral to the curriculum; they are realistic (i.e., not school-like) and focus on problems in which students encounter the discipline’s central concepts and principles; and they are student driven to a significant degree and involve students in a constructive investigation. Transitioning successfully to this mode of study requires students to be receptive to project work, value applied knowledge, have a capacity for self-directing study, and have a capacity for collaborating and jointly constructing technical understanding. Such a transition potentially introduces a dissonance between the academic expectations, knowledge, and skills students bring from previous experiences and those required in this new mode of study. For culturally diverse students, this amounts to at least three interconnected factors that potentially shape the development: i) expectations, beliefs, and practices in relation to engineering study; ii) English language competence within engineering disciplinary contexts; and iii) intercultural and interpersonal skills. On the question of expectations, beliefs, and practices, team-based projects represents a transition for many students from teacher-centered to student-centered pedagogy, which requires a greater, or perhaps a different, capacity to be self-directed in classrooms. Any individual student’s capacity to do so will depend on complex factors that are difficult to generalize. Yet, for those students who have come from academic backgrounds largely characterized by traditional lecture, textbook, and exam oriented modes of study, being self-directed in team-based project modes of study may be a challenge. Students' expectations of their roles, their  48 beliefs about the nature of knowledge, and their study practices may all influence how they adapt to this new mode of study.  While the danger of stereotyping culturally diverse students from specific countries or cultural groups is recognized, so too are attempts made to research challenges of students from Asian countries in higher education. A large body of literature exists on Confucian Heritage Culture (CHC) students with “the Chinese learner” being a frequent topic of papers over the last 30 years (Ryan, 2010). Cross and Hitchcock (2007) note how these students have been portrayed from a deficit perspective as passive, reluctant to express opinions, reliant on rote memorization, respectful of hierarchy, and lacking a capacity for self-directed learning. While ascribing many of these perceptions as outdated stereotypes, as do other authors (Biggs, 1996; Ryan, 2010), Cross and Hitchcock did a comparative study of 68 students from China, Chinese Hong Kong, and Taiwan as they neared the end of their degree programs at a UK university. They found that students perceived a mismatch in expectations between themselves and their teachers in the UK with respect to teachers’ roles (e.g., hierarchical, students dependent), assessment (e.g., varied assessments used in the UK, almost exclusive use of exams in their home countries), and knowledge (e.g., rote memorization). Scholars rejecting persistent stereotypical views of CHC students have sought nuanced approaches to understanding these students’ challenges (e.g., Mathia, Bruce, & Newton, 2013; Ha & Li, 2014). While these debates are recognized, a plausible proposition is that any student bringing vastly different expectations, beliefs, and practices to team-based projects may find challenges benefitting from this mode of study.  Second, with respect to English language competence within STEM disciplinary contexts, Lee (2005) notes that may English Language Learners “confront the demands of academic learning through a yet-unmastered language” and “to keep from falling behind their  49 English-speaking peers in academic content areas, such as science…need to develop English language and literacy skills in the context of subject area instruction” (p. 492). For culturally diverse students, their English competence is one identifiable factor likely to mediate their capacity to function in team-based design projects. It is impossible to generalize a priori about culturally diverse students’ discipline-specific English language competence; however, it may mediate their capacity to jointly construct technical understanding in teams and engage in team processes.  Third, intercultural competence and interpersonal skills potentially mediate culturally diverse students in how they respond to a team-based project mode of study. Native and non-native English speakers alike require intercultural and interpersonal skills, also known as sociolinguistic and strategic language competence (Bachman & Palmer, 2010). Arkoudis, Richardson, and Baik (2012) note in the Australian context that “interpersonal communication skills are considered important attributes for graduates to have, especially as many will work with people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds … this is true for all graduates, not only for EAL (i.e., ESL) students” (p. 94). Highly diverse teams, such as at this study's site, can be thought of as “hybrid cultural spaces” (Gutiérrez et al., 1999), meaning that in order to have successful projects, participants from diverse backgrounds need to engage in creating shared meanings across cultural, linguistic, and personal differences that serve as a basis for future collaboration that make for successful outcomes. Culturally diverse students who have attended high school outside of Canada may struggle with the dual task of coping with language challenges and negotiating team relationships across cultural divides. Competence in intercultural and interpersonal skills potentially mediates the nature of these students’ engagement with and capacity to succeed in team-based project work.  50 2.10 Literature Review: Summary and Significance This section identifies the significance of this review of the literature, which aimed to contextualize and inform this thesis. This review set out to understand how scholars have approached the challenges of researching enculturation in complex, lived curricula and what they have found to be its effect on engineering dispositions and thinking. The first implication is for this study’s overall orientation towards research. This study eschews an approach to researching the evolution of culturally diverse students’ engineering dispositions and thinking as the product of an assimilative brand of enculturation into an engineering disciplinary cultural norm (e.g., Clark et al., 2008; Dryburgh, 1999) such as characterizations noted in the literature (i.e., Donald, 2002; Godfrey & Parker, 2010; Stevens et al., 2008). Rather, this study embraces an approach to researching enculturation by capturing evolution and change as it emerges over time as a product of complex interactions in the lived curriculum (e.g., Esmonde et al., 2011; Roth, 2013).  Second, the engineering dispositions and thinking that Donald (1995, 2002, 2008) and Godfrey and Parker (2010) identify as engineering disciplinary culture are summarized in Table 5. These are taken as orienting features that may exist at this study’s data research and, if so, may shape culturally diverse students’ engineering dispositions and thinking. Hence, they are taken as reference points for what might be present in the environment and what might emerge in the engineering dispositions and thinking of the culturally diverse students in this doctoral study. They are not taken as indicators that will dictate this study’s data collection and analysis and drive its findings. A related implication with respect to engineering dispositions and thinking comes from Stevens et al. (2008) in Section 2.5, who identified shifts in the curriculum as students begin to engage in open-ended real-world problems, team-based work, and student-centered study which they are challenged to navigate. The students in this doctoral study are  51 precisely at the point where they will no longer be de facto math and science students. Hence, the tensions and contradictions this shift engenders are likely to drive the nature of the enculturation and the engineering dispositions and thinking that emerge.  Table 5. Engineering Dispositions and Thinking as Points of Reference   Relevant Disposition/Thinking  Source   Take risks/responsibilities for decisions Be self-reliant Act on logical advice Keep to the point Practical, pragmatic, hard-working, stable, introverted, Creative and inventive rather than communicative Join concepts to practical activity Deal with unbounded problems; too little/much information Cope with uncertainty Set limits on problem space Be adept at thinking processes (e.g., description, selection, representation, inference, synthesis, verification) Consolidate/integrate disciplinary content knowledge into thinking processes or relevant systems or frameworks  Work-hard, play hard Best over right answers Anything worth doing is hard: a natural part of learning/working Cooperation, collaboration, professionalism highly valued Time is a limited resource Achievement oriented: ‘can do’ people Tough, capable, conventional, self-deprecating Not emotionally demonstrative or concerned with appearance Proud, strong group identity as engineers Work gendered to some degree Respect for diversity if technically, communicatively competent Orientation towards solving problems  Capacity for visual, mathematical representation/communication Instrumental views on learning: passing vs. understanding  Access to technical knowledge, hard work confers authority Rewards, roles judged by effort, ability, experience, strengths Utilitarian orientation towards knowledge and its use   Donald (2002)                Godfrey & Parker (2010)               Kittleson & Southerland (2004)   52 Third, the review offers a cluster of rich concepts and terminology for the data analysis, findings, and implications discussed in later chapters. These are: identify with engineering, be identified as an engineer, and disidentify with engineering (Pesheux, 1982; Stevens et al., 2008; Tonso, 2006a; Walker, 2001); the centrality of disciplinary knowledge, thinking, behaviour, and hard work in “pulling off being an engineer”  (Kittleson & Southerland, 2004); doing school versus learning, hard versus soft prototyping, and divide-and-conquer approach to tasks (Newstetter, 1998); and emergent team perspectives, emergent team culture, and contradictions   (Esmonde et al., 2011; Holland & Reeves, 1996; Stevens et al., 2008). Fourth, this literature review has also emphasized the paucity of research on how culturally diverse students evolve in team-based engineering design STEM programs. Consideration of the characteristics of the shift to team-based project modes of study from the literature and the requirements it places on students allowed three major factors likely to affect the development of culturally diverse students’ engineering dispositions and thinking to be identified. These are: expectations, beliefs, and practices in relation to engineering study; English language competence within engineering disciplinary contexts; and intercultural and interpersonal skills. Owing to the gap in the literature on culturally diverse students in engineering, there is clearly a need for more research with the theoretical and analytical capacity to reveal how and in what way these students develop at the level of the lived curricula. This chapter’s discussion emphasizes the need for innovative studies that employ the theoretical and analytical capacity of activity theory to understand the process and products of enculturation for these students as they participate in team-based engineering design projects. This thesis now discusses relevant perspectives from activity theory that situated and guided this study.  53 Chapter 3: Theoretical 3.1 Introduction and Overview This chapter presents and discusses the theoretical framing of this case study which investigates how the engineering dispositions and thinking of culturally diverse students evolve through their enculturating experiences in an undergraduate Electrical and Computer Engineering program. This study conceptualizes becoming an engineer as enculturation, which entails that a person’s development occurs through immersion in a culture – a disciplinary school culture, in this case - rather than through the transmission and acquisition of information and skills by a person (Hodson & Hodson, 1998a, 1998b). As discussed briefly in Section 1.1, enculturation, first articulated in anthropology by Heskovits (1948), refers to the shaping of values and behavior through the immersion of an individual in a culture. Processes of enculturation, as defined by Grusec and Hastings (2014), are those forces, deliberate or not, in a given network of influences that limit, direct, and shape an individual. These result in the individual having greater competence in the language, rituals, and values of the culture in which they are immersed. The term “forces” is used in this study to refer specifically to interactions among students, instructors, tools, and assessment that become significant within the environment for students’ enculturation.  Acculturation is a similar term coined earlier in anthropology (Redfield, Linton, & Herskovits, 1936) to describe “the dual process of cultural and psychological change that occurs as a result of contact between two or more cultural groups” that, over the long term, causes change at the group and individual level (Grusec & Hastings, 2014, pp. 520–521). While both enculturation and acculturation can be used to talk about change through processes of cultural transmission (Grusec & Hastings), the terms enculturation and enculturation processes were  54 chosen for this study for two reasons. First, enculturation is a more appropriate term with which to frame processes of change in individuals immersed in disciplinary cultures such as engineering study as they begin to develop as early professionals. Acculturation entails a juxtaposition of different cultures writ large and the mutual changes that result from such differences, which is less fitting to this study’s focus. Second, the terms enculturation and processes of enculturation have greater currency in the science and engineering literature (e.g., Hodson & Hodson, 1998b; Godfrey & Parker, 2010). In their framing of learning in the sciences, for example, (Hodson & Hodson, 1998a, 1998b) draw on sociocultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978; Lave & Wenger, 1991), to describe becoming a scientist as enculturation: students participate in the social, cultural, and material context and acquire a disciplinary mind-set and culture by appropriating the cultural tools of science (Driver, Asoko, Leach, Scott, & Mortimer, 1994). As noted in Section 1.1, this study aims to account holistically for interactions in the context for their effects on culturally diverse students, an approach which entails a dual focus on processes (i.e., enculturation processes) and products (i.e., engineering thinking and dispositions). Hence the main research question is: How do the engineering dispositions and thinking of culturally diverse students evolve through their experiences in the second year of an electrical and computer engineering program?  This case study is informed by a hybrid of theoretical perspectives from cultural historical activity theory and German critical psychology (Roth, 2009) to understand how culturally diverse engineering students evolve through their enculturating experiences. This hybrid has been derived by Roth from the cultural historical activity theory2 (herein referred to 2 The term activity theory is used as shorthand for Cultural-Historical Activity Theory: Engeström (1987) employs both terms interchangeably in his seminal book.  55                                                  as activity theory) perspectives of Vygotsky (1978), Leont’ev (1978), and Engeström (1987) and the German critical psychology perspectives of Holzkamp (Holzkamp, 1991, 2013). As such, although this chapter derives and explains the origin of what is often referred to as first and second generation activity theory (Vygotsky, Leontʹev, Engeström), this study employs a hybrid theoretical framework (Roth) which credits but bypasses Engeström’s second generation activity theory through a new lineage of activity theory which takes the standpoint of the subject within activity rather than the activity system (Vygotsky, Leontʹev, Roth, Holzkamp). This chapter’s purpose is to locate this study within a constellation of educational research epistemologies, theoretical frameworks, and theories; to overview activity theory; and to define this study’s perspective on culture so as to provide reasoned and justifiable theoretical and analytical focus for this research. This chapter will do the following: • Justify the theoretical choices (constructionism, interpretivism, symbolic interactionism, activity theory) for researching enculturating effects of social, cultural, historical, and material factors in a team-based engineering design course. (Sections 3.2, 3.3)  • Trace activity theory’s origins in Vygotsky (1978), who theorized development as a person’s sign-tool mediated practical activity in the world that results in transform for both. This is theoretically relevant to later sections. (Section 3.3.1)  • Trace Leon’tev’s (1978; 1981) incorporation of societal, cultural, and historical dimensions into Vygotsky’s ideas, expressed as Engeström’s (1987) second generation activity theory. (Section 3.3.2)  • Shift away from Engeström’s (1987) second generation activity theory, which emphasizes the structure of activities in preference to the hybrid theoretical perspective of Roth (2009), which takes the standpoint of the subject in activity (Section 3.4.1)  • Discuss units of analysis (activity, consciousness, personality) for research (Leontʹev, 1978; 1981). Key terms adopted include: irreducible units of analysis, orienting effects of object/motive, inner contradictions, focus on learning trajectories over time. (Section 3.4.2)   56 • Overview the five-stage hybrid theoretical framework (Roth, 2009) for tracking emergence, turnover in dominance, and restructuring of new development resulting from inner contradictions in the student-in-activity over time. This is the primary theoretical framework employed in this research (Section 3.4.3)  • Discuss Holzkamp’s (2013) key concepts (key terms: generalized agency, generalized possibilities to act, subjective reasons for action) as ways of understanding mediating layers between societal conditions and individuals engaged in practical activity. (Section 3.4.4)  • Overview theoretical perspectives and findings from cultural analysis to anticipate what students bring from their cultures and their potential mediating effects on overall activity (e.g., team dynamics, perspective) and hence the evolution of engineering dispositions and thinking. (Section 3.5)  3.2 General Theoretical Framing Research into evolution and change in students through their participation in team-based design projects could be conducted from a number of standpoints about what it means to know (e.g., objectivism, constructionism, subjectivism) and their loosely coupled theoretical