Expansive framing is a promising approach to understanding transfer but little is known about how it might work in teacher professional development, an area that research suggests would be improved by the use of situative strategies. The Content, Person, Context framework (CPC) that has been developed in online learning contexts draws on the concept of expansive framing and further develops it through a focus on positioning content, person and context for value creation. However, little is known about how it promotes transfer. I studied how these two situative approaches, individually and together, illuminated near-transfer in the context of an online teacher professional development (PD) course. In this mixed methods study I adapted and created rubrics to analyze educators’ stories about how they intended to implement what they had learned in the course. I concluded that CPC and expansive framing support different understandings of authorship, with the former prioritizing immediate action planned for specific contexts and the latter emphasizing learner creation and ownership over time. These different views have consequences for how transfer is understood but can be used to create a model of how transfer can be fostered that is more robust than either framework taken on its own. Because this study is part of an evaluation phase of an ongoing design-based research project, I make recommendations for how expansive framing and CPC can be further used as tools for designing the next iteration of the PD module.
Social-emotional learning (SEL) methods are beginning to receive global attention in primary school education, yet the dominant emphasis on implementing these curricula is in high-income, urbanized areas. Consequently, the unique features of developing and integrating such methods in middle- or low-income rural areas are unclear. Past studies suggest that students exposed to SEL programs show an increase in academic performance, improved ability to cope with stress, and better attitudes about themselves, others, and school, but these curricula are designed with an urban focus. The purpose of this study was to conduct a needs-based analysis to investigate components specific to a SEL curriculum contextualized to rural primary schools. A promising organization committed to rural educational development is Barefoot College, located in Tilonia, Rajasthan, India. In partnership with Barefoot, we designed an ethnographic study to identify and describe what teachers and school leaders consider the highest needs related to their students' social and emotional education. To do so, we interviewed 14 teachers and school leaders individually or in a focus group to explore their present understanding of “social-emotional learning” and the perception of their students’ social and emotional intelligence. Analysis of this data uncovered common themes among classroom behaviors and prevalent opportunities to address social and emotional well-being among students. These themes translated into the three overarching topics and eight sub-topics explored throughout the curriculum, and these opportunities guided the creation of the 21 modules within it. Through a design-based research methodology, we developed a 40-hour curriculum by implementing its various modules within seven Barefoot classrooms alongside continuous reiteration based on teacher feedback and participant observation. Through this process, we found that student engagement increased during contextualized SEL lessons as opposed to traditional methods. In addition, we found that teachers and students preferred and performed better with an activities-based approach. These findings suggest that rural educators must employ particular teaching strategies when addressing SEL, including localized content and an experiential-learning approach. Teachers reported that as their approach to SEL shifted, they began to unlock the potential to build self-aware, globally-minded students. This study concludes that social and emotional education cannot be treated in a generalized manner, as curriculum development is central to the teaching-learning process.
For my Barrett the Honors College senior thesis project, I decided to utilize my knowledge of curriculum design to create a set of learning Modules. I was influenced by my involvement in the Next Generation Service Corps to create these Modules around college student community impact. In the end I developed 6 Modules, each with 4-5 lessons and activities that focused on topics such as volunteerism, civic engagement, and meaningful careers. With interviews rolling through during the design process, I was able to iterate my design as I built it. The design was tested with 14 college students with positive feedback and engagement during the week-long period that it was available. Through this research and design, I found that such a collection of Modules could be beneficial to students to excite them about their potential and educate them about the opportunities that exist for them to take advantage of. This research could serve as a useful tool within the ASU community as an opportunity for the students to build up meaningful skills to create impact. ASU is passionate about education translating into real world applications and creating “changemakers”, and this collection has the opportunity to do just that.
There has been growing interest among learning scientists in the design and study of out-of-school time (OST) learning environments to support equitable development of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) interests among youth from groups that are underrepresented in STEM fields. Most of these design studies assumed the youth came to the learning environments without well-developed STEM interests. I challenged this assumption by enacting a social design participatory study to engage youth (aged 11 to 14), from groups that are underrepresented in STEM fields, as partners in designing an OST networked club to support the youth in growing their own STEM interests. Based on longitudinal ethnographic data, I report a three-year iterative design of this networked club. I characterize the heterogeneity of STEM interests that emerged and grew across the networked club. Building on ecological theories of interest development, and leveraging the cultural assets of the nondominant community, I argue that heterogeneity of interests, resources, and practices served as a design tool and a catalyst for the development of STEM interest in the OST networked club.
The principles of transformational play challenge the assumption that learning and "real life" are inherently separate spheres, and instead, intimately connect the two spheres by integrating the often separate treatment of person, content, and context. By positioning person, content, and context in a way that traditional learning environments cannot, transformational play puts students in the role of active protagonists in their own learning and positions them to use their growing knowledge to make authentic choices that can affect problems they face in reality and thereby transform: the circumstances of their lives, the way they understand knowledge as a functional asset, and the way they see themselves as agents with the ability to act and create change. This can be especially empowering to students who have thus far been facing a feeling of hopelessness or powerlessness in their lives. Teachers can apply the concepts behind transformational play throughout the learning process to improve the consequentiality of students' learning experiences.