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New Forms of Social Learning in Mediterranean Higher Engineering Education: Change Lab for Gender Equality Transformation, Methodology, Design Principles

Published: 15 August 2020
 by  MDPI AG
Sustainability , Volume 12; doi:10.3390/su12166618

Abstract: Educating students to understand the dynamics of complex systems and acting with responsibility and equality in their professional/private life is pivotal. Implementing social changes in higher engineering education institutions is a challenge. This work is grounded empirically in the tailored practices of the gender equality Change Lab embedded in the network of Mediterranean engineering schools, which is a collective organizational integrity. We used action research and practical learning in our methodology. Design principles are provided, and methodological setup is included. We advocate that in order to mainstream gender equality, develop structures, and overcome some of the known limitations, we need to have conceptual clarity, well-targeted interventions, reflexivity, and empirical evidence. Moving from separate bureaucratic centrally-managed higher education institutions to interconnected networks that can organize self-assembling collaboration in the form of labs, with mutually beneficial partnerships contemplating social innovations, can challenge the melting of the traditional boundaries towards inclusive education. This can be done amidst university reforms conducive to such a transformation. Particular attention is paid to the role of HORIZON 2020 Training Augmented Reality Generalised Environment Toolkit (TARGET) project in conceptualizing gender equality learning and system change in Mediterranean engineering schools.
Keywords: Mediterranean / education / network / gender equality / Change Lab / engineering

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