Research Papers

Document Type

Conference Paper


Education has been shifting to foster better learning environments for students with instructors as co-constructors of knowledge in the classroom. Part of this educational transformation has been accomplished through graduate student education in preparing the next generation of educators to adopt student-centered teaching approaches. Change, however, can be slow, and implementation in the classroom looks different across disciplines. The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of graduate students’ perceptions of education when enrolled in a course on contemporary pedagogy. We seek to answer RQ: How do perceptions of education compare between graduate students in engineering and non-engineering academic disciplines? Arts-informed approaches provide an avenue to understand student perceptions and allow students to express their ideas in a creative and non-traditional way. For this study, we gathered drawings from 38 graduate students from multiple disciplines enrolled in a graduate-level course on contemporary pedagogy. Data were analyzed to compare disciplines along the spectrum of concrete, active, reflective, and abstract. Results from pre-course drawings indicate a breadth of student expressions and perceptions of education, including metaphors and discipline-specific content. Students draw on their prior experiences, but also look to the future in how they envision education to be. Themes include education as: an active- learning approach, cognitive development, futuristic, a global endeavor, knowledge acquisition and transfer, lecture-based, metaphors for education, and influence from personal experiences. Future work will include analysis of post-course drawings and reflections to gain a full understanding of how the course impacted students’ perceptions of education.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.