14 April 2021

Metaphors of Change: Navigating a Revolution in Engineering Education


Assistant Professor Samantha Breslin has contributed to the journal ‘Engineering Studies' with the article ‘Metaphors of Change: Navigating a Revolution in Engineering Education’.

The article is written in collaboration with Professor Michelle M. Camacho from the Department of Sociology at the University of Sandiego.

In their paper, the authors explores the role of metaphors in shaping efforts to change engineering education. 

Engineering education is often decontextualized, even as it is suffused with metaphoric language and sociocultural norms and beliefs. Efforts to embed social context and sociotechnical content in engineering education are often met with resistance. The authors contribute to conversations about how to change dominant knowledge regimes by detailing the process by which a team grapples with efforts to change technically-focused curricula and practices in engineering education – and faculty members’ values and beliefs about them – by invoking metaphors.

Metaphors of war and revolution, conversion/evangelism, and care permeate faculty discourse as they interpret and attempt to enact change. The authors show how these metaphors are significant in the ways that they both enable and constrain possibilities for change.

Read the full paper (open access): Metaphors of Change: Navigating a Revolution in Engineering Education