‘I wish that I belonged more in this whole engineering group:’ Achieving individual diversity – personal reflection

One of the challenges of this research was to find ways to allow Inez’s voice to be heard without identifying her as our participant. The uniqueness that made Inez worthy of a case study made it difficult to conceal her identity. Since we were interviewing at four predominantly white institutions including our own, the number of multi-minority engineering students is limited, which makes these students easy to identify. Protecting Inez’s identity was particular important because some of her comments did not reflect well on the faculty at her institution, and sometimes on the institution itself. We therefore needed to protect her institution from identification too. Unfortunately, the research project had already produced a publication that identified our research sites. The best that we would be able to do was to conceal which of our research sites Inez came from. As we were performing two large ethnographic studies simultaneously, we requested and received permission from the National Science Foundation to list both studies as possible sources for this interview. This effectively doubled the number of students who could have been Inez.

Available from: 2007 AREE DAT reflection

Trytten, D. A. (2007) ‘I wish that I belonged more in this whole engineering group:’ Achieving individual diversity – personal reflection. Annals of Research on Engineering Education 3 (2).

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