Using Narrative Enquiry to Investigate the Development of Students’ Engineering Identity in a Degree Apprenticeship

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

Abstract

Every year, around 35% of engineering graduates (mainly female and ethnic minority graduates) in the UK choose roles outside engineering (EngineeringUK 2019) [1]. Given that engineering as a profession struggles to attract recruits, this represents a significant loss of qualified talent the profession can ill afford. A possible reason why engineers choose not to practise after qualifying may be that they have not developed a professional engineering identity during their engineering education. Eliot and Turns (2011) [2] define professional identity as “personal identification with the duties, responsibilities, and knowledge associated with a professional role”. Engineering identity is the extent to which students identify themselves as engineers. Research shows that engineering identity is an important indicator of persistence in both engineering education and the engineering profession (Godwin, 2016) [3] (Beam et al 2009) [4] (Cech et al 2011) [5]. The purpose of this research is to find ways of reducing the number of engineers who graduate and then do not practise, by identifying ways in which they can better develop their engineering identity during their studies. The findings presented in this paper are surprising in that they seem to indicate that the four years of a degree apprenticeship have had little impact on students who already had either low or high identification with engineering. Engineering educators should consider how the development of an engineering identity can be supported in engineering degrees.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2021
EditorsHilary Grierson, Erik Bohemia, Lyndon Buck
PublisherDesign Society
ISBN (Electronic)9781912254149
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2021
Event23rd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2021 - Herning, Denmark
Duration: 9 Sep 202110 Sep 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2021

Conference

Conference23rd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2021
Country/TerritoryDenmark
CityHerning
Period9/09/2110/09/21

Keywords

  • Degree apprenticeships
  • Engineering education
  • Engineering identity
  • Identity theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Education

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Using Narrative Enquiry to Investigate the Development of Students’ Engineering Identity in a Degree Apprenticeship'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this