skip to main content

Title: Design Thinking and the Learning Sciences: Theoretical, Practical, and Empirical Perspectives
Community-based arts organizations curate and build experiences rooted in local culture through culturally sustaining practices. Through analysis of interviews with leaders at community-based arts organizations, we found that each took a different route to supporting culturally sustaining arts practices, which enacted relational elements of connected learning environments. We describe three models of culturally sustaining arts approaches (i.e., heritage and history, intergenerational, and youth culture) and suggest that each supports relational elements of connected learning.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
J. Oshima, T. Mochizuki
Date Published:
Journal Name:
International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS)
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    We find ourselves at a time when the need for transformation in science education is aligning with opportunity. Significant science education resources, namely the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Ambitious Science Teaching (AST) framework, need an intentional aim of centering social justice for minoritized communities and youth as well as practices to enact it. While NGSS and AST provide concrete guidelines to support deep learning, revisions are needed to explicitly promote social justice. In this study, we sought to understand how a commitment to social justice, operationalized through culturally sustaining pedagogy (Paris, Culturally sustaining pedagogies and our futures.The Educational Forum, 2021; 85, pp. 364–376), might shape the AST framework to promote more critical versions of teaching science for equity. Through a qualitative multi‐case study, we observed three preservice teacher teams engaged in planning, teaching, and debriefing a 6‐day summer camp in a rural community. Findings showed that teachers shaped the AST sets of practices in ways that sustained local culture and addressed equity aims: anchoring scientific study in phenomena important to community stakeholders; using legitimizing students' stories by both using them to plan the following lessons and as data for scientific argumentation; introducing local community members as scientific experts, ultimately supporting a new sense of pride and advocacy for their community; and supporting students in publicly communicating their developing scientific expertise to community stakeholders. In shaping the AST framework through culturally sustaining pedagogy, teachers made notable investments: developing local networks; learning about local geography, history, and culture; building relationships with students; adapting lessons to incorporate students' ideas; connecting with community stakeholders to build scientific collaborations; and preparing to share their work publicly with the community. Using these findings, we offer a justice‐centered ambitious science teaching (JuST) framework that can deliver the benefits of a framework of practices while also engaging in the necessarily more critical elements of equity work.

    more » « less
  2. Culture plays a significant role in students’ learning and understanding. Teaching and learning are most effective when teachers make curricula relevant to students’ cultural, linguistic and experiential backgrounds, and when they take time to know and understand their students and the community they serve. The Culturally Sustaining STEM (CS-STEM) Institute is a feasibility study designed to support professional learning of in-service and preservice teachers in community-based settings. Funded by NSF AISL and ITEST programs, the study is comprised of three goals: supporting preservice and in-service teachers’ practices of culturally-sustaining STEM pedagogy, enhancing pre-adolescent learners’ knowledge of historical and current STEM practices in Gullah Geechee culture, inviting dialogue that critique and challenge perceptions of who participates in STEM agency and how through a Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) model. A primary component of the study was a pilot summer 2021 STEM camp for fifth and sixth grade students in Georgetown, SC, located within the geographical footprint of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor. The multi-PI team utilizes constant comparative analytic methods to analyze transcripts from observations and interviews, as well as the educators’ products to measure how the educators understand and apply culturally sustaining pedagogies (e.g., lesson plans). They also measure how the youth convey their understandings of culturally-embedded scientific content and practices by using constant comparative and multimodal analysis of transcripts from interviews and observations, as well as youth-generated artifacts. This research addresses why CS-STEM is important, development and enactment of CS-STEM curriculum, and how CS-STEM increases STEM literacy. 
    more » « less
  3. Objectives We examine the community epistemologies in youth’s iterative refinements of STEM-rich inventions across settings and time. Iteration in STEM-rich engineering/invention work refers to re-thinking ideas/designs within prototyping processes (Cunningham & Kelly, 2017). The objective of this paper is to examine the political dimensions of iteration through a) how iteration involves pre- and post-design “lives” of inventions especially towards new social futures, and b) the intentional incorporation of cultural epistemologies towards advancing new forms of legitimate inventor knowledge/practice (Yosso, 2005). Framing We draw from critical justice and consequential learning studies. Critical justice focuses on recognizing diversity and addressing structural inequalities perpetuated through systemic racism and classism. It seeks re-shifted relations of power and position within multiple scales-of-activity in learning, intersected with historicized injustices in learning environments. Consequential learning examines what matters to people, and how associated values and practices, when coordinated through social activity, allows for imagining new social futures (Gutierrez, 2012). Viewing the iterative process of inventing through a justice-oriented consequential lens calls into question traditional modes of knowing, and challenges/expands who and what areas of expertise are recognized and valued. Methods Our study takes place in two community makerspaces in mid-sized cities. Both center community engagement and support youth in designing/inventing to address problems they and their communities care about. Both also support minoritized youth in inventing through engagement with a wide range of community/STEM stakeholders. In researcher-educator roles, we collaborated with both makerspaces to establish programs supporting youth in sustained engagement in STEM and making/inventing in culturally-sustaining ways. In our two-year, longitudinal critical ethnography, data were generated in weekly community making sessions between 2016-2018. Data include artifacts, youth conversation groups, and videos capturing youth interaction with STEM and community experts at various stages in their design process. Analysis involved multiple stages and levels of coding based on open-coding and constant comparison procedures. Findings We ground our paper in four in-depth longitudinal cases of youth’s iterative design work: Nila’s light-up #stopracism sign; Su’zanne’s massaging slipper, Sharon’s geodesic play dome, and Jazmyn’s portable fan. Across cases, we illustrate three findings. First, youth located broader injustices within local making/inventing discourses with support from community and STEM allies, suggesting youth drew from multiple epistemologies, some grounded in community cultural wealth, others in STEM. For example, Su’Zanne drew from a familial culture of care and resistance in recognizing injustices nested in homelessness while iterating a way to make her slipper “more massaging.” The geodesic dome youth-makers drew from collective solidarity/resistance in making a structure for younger peers due to unjust lack of play infrastructure. Second, iterative engagement involving community wealth afforded further design and inventing experiences and expanded ownership over inventions across many stakeholders. For example, youth turned Nila’s #stopracism sign on during group discussions when they felt that racism needed to be foregrounded. Third, the afterlife of youth invention processes impacted the emergent inventor-maker culture through influencing the iterative process. Significance Iterations expand hybridization of cultural knowledge/practice and STEM-rich inventing, re-shaping whose cultural knowledge matters, and fostering justice-oriented collective outcomes. 
    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the designed cultural ecology of a hip-hop and computational science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) camp and the ways in which that ecology contributed to culturally sustaining learning experiences for middle school youth. In using the principles of hip-hop as a CSP for design, the authors question how and what practices were supported or emerged and how they became resources for youth engagement in the space. Design/methodology/approach The overall methodology was design research. Through interpretive analysis, it uses an example of four Black girls participating in the camp as they build a computer-controlled DJ battle station. Findings Through a close examination of youth interactions in the designed environment – looking at their communication, spatial arrangements, choices and uses of materials and tools during collaborative project work – the authors show how a learning ecology, designed based on hip-hop and computational practices and shaped by the history and practices of the dance center where the program was held, provided access to ideational, relational, spatial and material resources that became relevant to learning through computational making. The authors also show how youth engagement in the hip-hop computational making learning ecology allowed practices to emerge that led to expansive learning experiences that redefine what it means to engage in computing. Research limitations/implications Implications include how such ecologies might arrange relations of ideas, tools, materials, space and people to support learning and positive identity development. Originality/value Supporting culturally sustaining computational STEM pedagogies, the article argues two original points in informal youth learning 1) an expanded definition of computing based on making grammars and the cultural practices of hip-hop, and 2) attention to cultural ecologies in designing and understanding computational STEM learning environments. 
    more » « less
  5. While the last two decades have seen an increased interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) in K-12 schools, few efforts have focused on the teachers and teaching practices necessary to support these interventions. Even fewer have considered the important work that teachers carry out not just inside classrooms but beyond the classroom walls to sustain such STEAM implementation efforts, from interacting with administrators to recruiting students and persuading parents about the importance of arts and computer science. In order to understand teachers’ needs and practices regarding STEAM implementation, in this paper, we focus on eight experienced computer science teachers’ reflections on implementing a STEAM unit using electronic textiles, which combine crafting, circuit design, and coding so as to make wearable artifacts. We use a broad lens to examine the practices high school teachers employed not only in their classrooms but also in their schools and communities to keep these equitable learning opportunities going, from communicating with other teachers and admins to building a computer science (CS) teacher community across district and state lines. We also analyzed these reflections to understand teachers’ own social and emotional needs—needs important to staying in the field of CS education—better, as they are relevant to engaging with learning new content, applying new pedagogical skills, and obtaining materials and endorsements from their organizations to bring STEAM into their classrooms. In the discussion, we contemplate what teachers’ reported practices and needs say about supporting and sustaining equitable STEAM in classrooms. 
    more » « less