Abstract

How do collaborative design projects manage competing needs and power dynamics? In this coffee time session, I will present a brief case study of a partnership among five K-12 public school districts in an inclusive R&D process to address a shared problem of practice. This case study will illustrate multiple perspectives of participating stakeholders in order to provoke a discussion around the challenges of prioritizing a clear end user and navigating multiple centers of power. Students may be the clearest end user of R&D in education: it is their learning experience that is intended to benefit from new interventions. However some stakeholders focus on the role of school district leaders (who are necessary for redesigning systems that support new interventions), teachers and school principals (who play critical roles in implementing interventions and redesigned systems), or parents and community members (who depend on successful outcomes from the local school district). This tangled skein of perspectives provides a rich context for discussion. How do pluriversal designers navigate such power dynamics? In what ways are compulsory, public systems, like K-12 education, fundamentally projects of a one world ontology, and how might we successfully decolonize design within such boundaries?

Keywords

K-12 education; co-design; power dynamics

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 4th, 12:00 AM

Navigating Multiple Centres of Power in R&D for Public Education

How do collaborative design projects manage competing needs and power dynamics? In this coffee time session, I will present a brief case study of a partnership among five K-12 public school districts in an inclusive R&D process to address a shared problem of practice. This case study will illustrate multiple perspectives of participating stakeholders in order to provoke a discussion around the challenges of prioritizing a clear end user and navigating multiple centers of power. Students may be the clearest end user of R&D in education: it is their learning experience that is intended to benefit from new interventions. However some stakeholders focus on the role of school district leaders (who are necessary for redesigning systems that support new interventions), teachers and school principals (who play critical roles in implementing interventions and redesigned systems), or parents and community members (who depend on successful outcomes from the local school district). This tangled skein of perspectives provides a rich context for discussion. How do pluriversal designers navigate such power dynamics? In what ways are compulsory, public systems, like K-12 education, fundamentally projects of a one world ontology, and how might we successfully decolonize design within such boundaries?

 

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