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  1. Gresalfi, M ; Horn, I (Ed.)
    In 1972 Howard Becker argued that “school is a lousy place to learn anything”. However, Becker’s analysis was based on a comparison of ethnographic studies of on-the-job learning with an ideal typical representation of school. This paper revisits the issue of whether and how schools may be a lousy place to learn by listening to and interpreting the perspectives of students themselves. We draw on a sample of 300 interviews with students conducted in the context of researching what and how students learned in a program called FUSE Studios, which we have previously conceptualized as “an alternative infrastructure for learning in schools”. We asked students whether and how FUSE was different from their other classes, and their responses provided us with a unique window into what students think of school as a learning environment. Herein, we share their perspectives and draw implications for future learning sciences work. 
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  2. Gresalfi, M. ; Horn, I. (Ed.)
    This study reports findings from a longitudinal study aimed at supporting middle-school Black girls’ computational algorithmic thinking (CAT). We argue that STEM learning, in the way SCAT designs it, is not about neoliberal aims, but provides Black girls with opportunities to radically shape their identities as producers, innovators, and disruptors of deficit perspectives. Using Black Feminist Thought and Intersectionality as a theoretical lens, findings suggest Black girls participate in SCAT in order to find meaning in relevance and altruism, author their own creative imaginations, and create new narratives about themselves and other Black girls and women. Implications for K-12 are discussed. 
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  3. Gresalfi, M. ; Horn, I. (Ed.)
    Much attention has focused on student learning while making physical computational artifacts such as robots or electronic textiles, but little is known about how students engage with the hardware and software debugging issues that often arise. In order to better understand students’ debugging strategies and practices, we conducted and video-recorded eight think- aloud sessions (~45 minutes each) of high school student pairs debugging electronic textiles projects with researcher-designed programming and circuitry/crafting bugs. We analyzed each video to understand pairs’ debugging strategies and practices in navigating the multi- representational problem space. Our findings reveal the importance of employing system-level strategies while debugging physical computing systems, and of coordinating between various components of physical computing systems, for instance between the physical artifact, representations on paper, and the onscreen programming environment. We discuss the implications of our findings for future research and designing instruction and tools for learning with and debugging physical computing systems. 
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  4. Gresalfi, M ; Horn, I (Ed.)
    The problem of sustaining and spreading educational innovations is one that has vexed many researchers. The flipside of this question, equally important, is what leads to the ‘death’ of educational innovations? Here, to shed light on this question, we provide an autopsy on the death of one local implementation of an otherwise successful STEAM exploration program called FUSE. 
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  5. Gresalfi, M. ; Horn, I. (Ed.)
    The design of most learning environments focuses on supporting students in making, constructing, and putting together projects on and off the screen, with much less attention paid to the many issues—problems, bugs, or traps—that students invariably encounter along the way. In this symposium, we present different theoretical and disciplinary perspectives on understanding how learners engage in debugging applications on and off screen, examine learners’ mindsets about debugging from middle school to college students and teachers, and present pedagogical approaches that promote strategies for debugging problems, even having learners themselves design problems for others. We contend that learning to identify and fix problems—debug, troubleshoot, or get unstuck—in completing projects provides a productive space in which to explore multiple theoretical perspectives that can contribute to our understanding of learning and teaching critical strategies for dealing with challenges in learning activities and environments. 
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  6. Gresalfi, M ; Horn, I (Ed.)
    Teaching is one of the most extensively studied topics in education research. However, most studies of teaching assume a standard learning arrangement, in which the teacher is the content expert and directs student learning. What happens when this is not the case, when the resources for learning lie elsewhere (online, other students) and the expertise that the teacher brings is in how to facilitate learning rather than convey content? How do teachers navigate the role of ‘facilitator’, and what are the pedagogical best practices for doing so. Here, we address these questions by examining facilitation in one set of in- and after-school making and learning environments, called FUSE. Drawing on student and teacher interviews, classroom observations, and video, we analyze the needs experienced by facilitators and the tools and practices they implemented to address those needs. 
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  7. Gresalfi, M ; Horn, I (Ed.)
    We report a case drawn from 6 months of ethnographic and interview research in a STEAM Lab. Free to choose what to work on, students acquired difficult skills and demonstrated what school leaders had identified as valued capacities: collaboration, creativity, and persistence. The teacher struggled, however, to apply conventional grading practices to recognize this learning. We analyze the case of Kira, a 7th grader who learned to design and 3D print an original fidget spinner and began to imagine herself as a designer and entrepreneur. Kira’s story came to a surprising and sad end, as she failed to produce the “evidence of learning” required for a high grade. The case highlights the dilemmas of recognizing and assessing consequential learning experiences in project-based environments. 
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  8. Gresalfi, M. ; Horn, I. S. (Ed.)
  9. Gresalfi, M. ; Horn, I. S. (Ed.)
    Sociologists and historians of science have documented the salience of meritocracy and technocracy in engineering (Cech, 2014; Slaton, 2015; Riley, 2008). Meritocracy is often paired with a technocratic ideology, which distinguishes technical and “soft” skills and assigns more worth to the technical. Scholars have shown how technocracy and meritocracy contribute to marginalization within engineering education (Slaton, 2015; Foor et al., 2007; Secules et al., 2018). Our team has been iteratively redesigning a pedagogy seminar for engineering peer educators to disrupt such forces of marginalization. We study peer educators because they can do harm if these ideologies aren't challenged, and they have the potential to disrupt these ideologies. Using tools from discourse analysis and the ideology-in-pieces framework (Philip, 2011), we analyze how technocratic stances are reproduced or challenged in engineering peer educators’ talk. Such analyses can help others to recognize technocratic reasoning and see some of its negative consequences. 
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  10. Gresalfi, M. ; Horn, I. S. (Ed.)
    There is broad belief that preparing all students in preK-12 for a future in STEM involves integrating computing and computational thinking (CT) tools and practices. Through creating and examining rich “STEM+CT” learning environments that integrate STEM and CT, researchers are defining what CT means in STEM disciplinary settings. This interactive session brings together a diverse spectrum of leading STEM researchers to share how they operationalize CT, what integrated CT and STEM learning looks like in their curriculum, and how this learning is measured. It will serve as a rich opportunity for discussion to help advance the state of the field of STEM and CT integration. 
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