12511 BB: Educators Experience Boundaries, Students Don’t? Blurring the Boundaries Between Formal and Informal Learning Spaces
Organizers: Torrey Trust, Lindy Johnson, Delila Omerbašić
Presenters: Grace Kim, Leshell Hatley, Alicia De León, Meghan Welch
Educators and researchers working in various learning spaces (e.g., K-12 classrooms, informal online spaces, nonprofit or community organizations) who are interested in discussing and designing a plan for blurring the boundaries between these spaces.
About the Workshop:
In this interactive workshop, co-facilitators and participants will explore meaningful learning and teaching practices across educational spaces (e.g., formal school settings and informal out-of-school settings). These spaces are often divided and bound by unique contexts. The disconnect between these spaces often disrupts the ongoing, iterative process of learning.
Our core challenge is to develop ideas and strategies for blurring conceptual, ideological, and structural boundaries between educational spaces that may not necessarily collaborate to achieve shared goals yet can contribute to practices that facilitate deeper learning.
Our workshop will be guided by seven DML Summer Research Fellows of 2013 who research formal and informal preK-16 educational spaces of historically disenfranchised or marginalized groups. While these spaces are treated too often as separate domains, our workshop aims to bridge and blur the boundaries. Young people navigate formal and informal learning settings freely. Yet, few opportunities exist for researchers who study these two spaces to learn from each other. Bringing our research contexts into conversation with each other will provide the opportunity to re-imagine how technology can contribute to equitable learning and engagement across learning settings.
Recognizing the unique contexts of our pedagogical praxis, research, and community engagement, we will discuss the pedagogical practices that emerge within preK-12 classrooms, out-of-school programs, community centers, and online affinity spaces to identify how they converge and/or diverge in terms of supporting youth engagement across sociopolitical platforms. We will also discuss the affordances, as well as structural limitations of each educational space, before asking participants to break into small groups to continue the conversation in more focused ways.
In small group discussions, we will encourage participants to explore the following key questions: How do we begin to blur boundaries between learning spaces? In what ways (both positive and negative) do technologies shape these spaces? How can technologies be used to bridge multiple spaces? And, what are the practices and mindsets that have the potential to foster equitable learning across informal and formal educational spaces?
Following small group discussions, we will jointly develop an action plan for blurring boundaries across learning spaces.
Here is a brief overview of the workshop facilitators and their research interests:
Alicia De León is focused on community-based research practices of Chicana/o and Latina/o youth with the infusion of cultural arts.
Delila Omerbašić engages with language and literacy practices of adolescent girls with refugee backgrounds in out-of-school settings.
Grace Kim is interested in the literacy and language practices of youth in informal settings.
Leshell Hatley conducts research on the culturally relevant teaching, learning, and assessment of PreK-12th grade STEM Education.
Lindy Johnson’s research focuses on designing participatory professional development for public school teachers around new and digital literacies.
Meghan Welch’s current research interests include participatory digital practices and emerging digital literacies in PreK.
Torrey Trust’s research focuses on how technology can support K-12 teachers in designing contexts that enhance student learning.