EWB has been working in supporting Engineers work with Indigenous projects and training indigenous students in STEM. Some stories are on their website
Thank you to all who have followed and contributed to our project so far. While the OLT funding period is complete, our work is by no means finished! Here are some of the outputs from the project do date. It’s been a long road to get to what now feels like the starting line…
A Beginners Guide to Incorporating Aboriginal Perspectives into Engineering Education:
Quick overview to ‘A Beginners Guide to Incorporating Aboriginal Perspectives into Engineering Education’:
Project Summary (a one-pager for the time poor):
Engaging with Aboriginal Perspectives using 5Rights©
The 5Rights© are, collectively, a guide to our recommended approach to integrating Aboriginal perspectives into engineering education. These are responsibilities – not entitlements – and their origins are anchored in that Knowledge Gap outlined in the first of this series of entries. When people on each side of the knowledge gap are ignorant of the others’ body of knowledge, and do not appreciate its underlying values and principles, at least three possible avenues are available for action. The most damaging of these is in play when knowledge is assumed to be absent from one side. Conversely a ‘deficit model’ assumes the superiority of one set of knowledge, and operates ‘as if’ problems are solved by use of its ‘more progressive’ solutions to relevant contexts.
All human cultures have unique features, as well as characteristics shared with all other humans. Being human involves a range of physical factors including managing family and group life, engagement in social and individual activities like work and play, and making sustained efforts to provide for basic health and safety needs. How all these elements are enfolded into particular cultures is uniquely shaped by intangible factors called – variously – beliefs, values systems or philosophies. These intangibles are powerfully strong in shaping actions and reactions, yet also very subtle and therefore hard to discern either from ‘inside’ or ‘outside’ their sphere of influence. Those for whom a particular set of beliefs and values are the ‘norm’ find it hard to consider that anything else could be viable, while those for whom it is unfamiliar and even ‘strange’ often have a highly judgmental view of what is unfamiliar, based on their comfort with what they know.
At the recent Aboriginal Engineering summit in Melbourne, we presented the model underlying our recommended approach to integrating aboriginal perspectives into engineering education. – (open link here) EAC Flyer 2015-1
This entry is part one of three entries exploring the model itself and introducing underlying principles and philosophies that inform the work of the ‘Engineering Across Cultures’ project.
As the culmination of a great deal of thought, analysis and discussion, we are finding that the simplicity of the sequence represented in this single image is both attractive and readily creates curiosity and conversation. Different people are tending to zero in on one or other aspect of the whole as they link our ideas to their own interests and understanding.