Kira & the spinners: Exploring the dilemmas of a structured-choice learning environment in a public school

Peter Meyerhoff, Reed Stevens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationThe Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2020 - Conference Proceedings
EditorsMelissa Gresalfi, Ilana Seidel Horn
PublisherInternational Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Pages577-580
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781732467255
StatePublished - 2020
Event14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: The Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2020 - Nashville, United States
Duration: Jun 19 2020Jun 23 2020

Publication series

NameComputer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference, CSCL
Volume1
ISSN (Print)1573-4552

Conference

Conference14th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: The Interdisciplinarity of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2020
CountryUnited States
CityNashville
Period6/19/206/23/20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Education

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