The Challenge of Teaching Reflexivity in Science and Engineering Education

The Challenge of Teaching Reflexivity in Science and Engineering Education
Friday, March 26, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

The very positions and structures of practice in science and engineering that make reflexivity possible also inhibit learning reflexivity. In this webinar, Aditya Anupam approaches the challenging paradox this causes for teaching reflexivity, by drawing upon feminist/STS studies and game studies to frame technoscience as a form of play. How can we place students in positions of technoscience that entangle them in the structures of practice and at the same time free them from those same structures?

To engage in reflexivity, students need to have a position in technoscience to be reflexive of, such as an intern, a research assistant, or an employee. However, having such a position can inhibit learning reflexivity due to the structures of practice that govern those positions. For example, the structure of employee evaluation in companies —particularly the tying of performance reviews to salaries, promotions, and job security— can dissuade employees from exploring possibilities that stretch the bounds of their assigned specialized roles.

Feminist/STS studies and game studies can support teaching reflexivity by shifting the focus of education from the structures of technoscientific practice to their relationships with their spaces of possibility. Further, it is conducive to designing educational environments as "magic circles of play”, which can facilitate student engagement with these spaces of possibility without entangling them in real structures of practice. Building on this rationale, Anupam constructs a framework for designing/analyzing educational environments aimed at teaching reflexivity and discuss examples of how the framework can be employed. Finally, he will conclude the talk by examining some of the possible limitations of the framework and directions for future work.

Aditya Anupam is a Ph.D. Candidate in Digital Media at the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech. His research is situated at the confluence of technoscience, media, and learning. Anchored in feminist, STS, and pragmatist scholarship, he explores digital media––particularly games, simulations, and interactive visualizations––as environments to foster the learning of technoscience as a situated practice.

This will be the twenty-second of a series of HASTAC Webinars that started in 2019. In this series, HASTAC Scholars facilitate 45-minute webinars on topics ranging from Interview Prep or Blog Posting to Networking, Personal Statements, and Pedagogy Strategies for Adjuncts.

 

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