Evaluating creative learning environments: New article AND instrument

Note: This post (and the SCALE instrument) has been updated on 2.21.18 

Creativity is a key educational goal and essential 21st century skill. That said, much of the existing research in the field of creativity has focused on individual, psychological, and/or personality variables, which, while important, offer minimally practical advice to educators.  The intentional design of learning environments is an area that has not seen much attention in the literature, yet it is profoundly important to supporting creativity in children.

In a recent paper (link below) Carmen Richardson and I propose an instrument (Support of Creativity in Learning Environment: SCALE) that is designed to assess the ways in which a learning environment supports student creativity. SCALE is modeled on The Three-Minute Classroom Walk-Through and is a short, focused, and informal instrument aimed not to evaluate the teacher but rather to gather information about practice. SCALE measures three different aspects of a learning environment: Learner Engagement; the Physical Environment; and the Learning Climate.

The complete process that led to the development of the SCALE instrument can be found in:

Richardson, C., & Mishra, P., (2017). Learning Environments that Support Student Creativity: Developing the SCALE. Thinking Skills and Creativity https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2017.11.004

The actual instrument, along with some background information and instructions for use can be found below:

Richardson, C. & Mishra, P. (2017). Support of Creativity in Learning Environment: SCALE).

NEW BOOK! Creativity, Technology & Education: Exploring their Convergence

I am thrilled to announce the publication of a new book, a Mishra-Henriksen production titled Creativity, Technology & Education: Exploring their Convergence.  This book is a collection of essays that first appeared the journal TechTrends. 

These essays provide a broad analytic frame for thinking about creativity, technology and education and describe classroom examples as well as strategies for evaluating creative artifacts and creative environments. We see this book as an important resource for educators and practitioners as they seek to incorporate creative work and thoughtful pedagogy in their personal and professional lives. In his foreword, Yong Zhao, Foundation Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas writes:

In this collection of beautifully written essays, Mishra, Henriksen, and the Deep-play Research Group challenge myths about technology and creativity, debate time-honored instructional practices, and play with new ideas for schools to care for and nurture, rather than constrain, creativity. These essays are provocative … refreshing, [and] insightful.

Complete Reference:

Mishra, P., Henriksen, D. & The Deep-Play Research Group (2018). Creativity, Technology & Education: Exploring their Convergence. SpringerBriefs in Educational Communications & Technology. Published by the Association for Educational Communications & Technology & Springer.  [Link to Amazon page]

Creativity in Surgery, Music & Cooking: New article

Here is the next article in our series Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century for the journal TechTrends. In this article we feature an interview with Dr. Charles Limb,  professor of Otolaryngology and a surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco. He is also an accomplished jazz musician, loves cooking and in his research focused on better understanding the neural basis of musical improvisation. Three key themes emerged through our conversation:

First, Dr. Limb’s philosophy, background, and experiences illustrate how a trans-disciplinary way of thinking and living enables new perspectives and rich understanding of a phenomenon. Second, his views highlight the phenomenological and evolutionary relevance of creativity. That is, he emphasizes the experience of creativity, and notes that creativity is a core element of humanity that allows our brains to work at the highest level as vital for our survival. Finally, he suggests practicing and developing creativity is important for children and adults, and we must encourage creative development by infusing arts into education across the lifespan.

Warr, M., Henriksen, D., Mishra, P.,  & The Deep-Play Research Group (2018). Creativity and Flow in Surgery, Music, and Cooking: An Interview with Neuroscientist Charles Limb. Tech Trends. DOI 10.1007/s11528-018-0251-3

Sliding into 2018

Over the years our family has developed a mini-tradition of creating short videos to celebrate the new year. These videos are short, always typographical, and usually incorporate some kind of a visual illusion. Our craft has improved over the years, something that can be seen in the overall quality of the videos (link to past videos below). And all this within a budget that has rarely exceeded $10.

View our 10th video, titled Sliding into 2018 created with a budget of  $1.98!!

The previous 10 new year’s videos can be found here: Illusory New Year Videos.

How does this work and how did we do it?

EDUsummIT 2017: Summary Report released

EDUsummIT 2017 is the fifth International Summit on Information Technology (IT) in Education (EDUsummIT 2017) recently held in Borovets, Bulgaria, on September 18-20, 2017. EDUsummIT 2017 was co-hosted by the University of Library Studies & Information Technologies, Sofia, Bulgaria, and the Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development. EDUsummIT 2017 brought together over 100 policy-makers, educators and researchers around the theme of  “Rethinking learning in a digital age.” There were 9 thematic groups, and I co-lead the team (with Dale Niederhauser) that looked at Sustainability and scalability in research approaches (a prelim blog post on that work can be found here). Other members of the team included (in alphabetical order): Douglas Agyei, Margaret Cox, Sarah Howard, Djordje Kadijevich, Therese Laferriere, Lynne Schrum, Jo Tondeur & Joke Voogt.

The organizers of EDUsummIT 2017, Kwok-Wing Lai, Joke Voogt and Gerald Knezek pulled together the work done by all the groups (as well as some additional cross-group analysis) into a report. That final report is embedded below. Enjoy.

Paul Pangaro on cybernetics, design & creativity: New article

180 degree rotational ambigram for the word “cybernetic,” ©punyamishra

Here is the next article in our series Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century for the journal TechTrends featuring an interview with Dr. Paul Pangaro, Associate Professor & Chair of the Master of Fine Arts in Interaction Design program at the College for Creative Studies. Dr. Pangaro has a rich, multi-dimensional background that allows him to provide a nuanced and unique perspective. As we write in the article:

[Dr. Pangaro’s] views, influenced by his early work in humanities, computer science, and film, and driven by cybernetics and conversation theory, are a lens for everything he has done and continues to frame the way he sees the world. Our discussion with Dr. Pangaro highlighted several themes that characterize his current work and perspective on creativity. These themes include: creativity as an act of re-seeing the world; cybernetics and design; and the evolving role of technology, creativity, and conversation in our world. 

Lot more in the complete article, which is linked to below:

Henriksen, D., Mishra, P., Warr, M. & The Deep-Play Research Group (2017). A Cybernetic Perspective on Design and Creativity: a Conversation with Dr. Paul PangaroTech Trends (61)6. DOI 10.1007/s11528-017-0221-1

STEM teaching & leadership for urban educators: Special Issue on #MSUrbanSTEM

The MSUrbanSTEM project was one of the best projects I have ever been part of.  We worked with 124 Chicago Public School STEM educators over three years, in an effort to develop their teaching and leadership in the STEM areas. We have written about this project and presented about it at conferences, but this is the first time that we have an entire special issue of a journal (The Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching) devoted to the project. As we write in the introduction, there are some significant advantages to having a range of articles on a project:

Research on educational programs faces a fundamental and essential tension. By definition, research tends to be driven by specific theoretical frameworks and research questions, generating their strength from this specificity and narrowness of vision. But educational researchers also understand that there is much more to the project or activity than was or could be captured by one study. Any article that seeks to provide an overview of the project provides breadth but lacks depth and specificity. We believe that this special issue provides the right balance between breadth and depth—by allowing us to construct a richer description of a teacher professional development program through ve articles, each of which use different lenses. It is through these articles that some of the richness of the project can be captured and presented to readers.

Below are the titles and references of all the articles in the special issue, as well as a link to the pdf of the introductory article . Do let me know (by email or in the comments below) if you want copies of the other articles.

Continue reading →

Finding the answers to What, When, & Where

Three important questions that we often seek answers for are:

  1. WHAT is it?
  2. WHEN should we do it?
  3. WHERE should it happen?

Turns out these questions can be answered just by replacing just one letter—namely replace “W” with “T.” Here they are:

  1. That
  2. Then
  3. There


Here is a visual representation of the same idea that I created while at a meeting the other day.

Design book-review podcasts

I am teaching a new masters/doctoral seminar titled Design in the real world. This is the first class I am teaching here after coming to ASU and it is exciting to back in with students engaged in discussions about design, technology, and its role in our lives as educators. More info about the class can be found here. What I want to share below are three podcasts created by the participants in the class. The task was to review a book around design. Below are the three books and the audio files. Enjoy.

The Design Way by Taylor Kessner

How Designers Think by Christiana Bruchok & Kevin Close

Taking Design Thinking to School by Ye (Cherry) Chen & Wendy Wakefield


Cognitive psychology of science: Old article

Science ambigram with 180-degree rotational symmetry

This chapter, published back in 1998, focused on the cognitive science of science. I realized today that I had not uploaded this article onto my website. So, better late than never, here it is. But before jumping into that here are two basic questions: what is the cognitive science of science and how did we approach the topic? Briefly:

The cognitive science of science studies the cognitive processes involved in carrying out science: How do scientists reason? How do scientists develop new theories? How do scientists deal with data that are inconsistent with their theories? How do scientists choose between competing theories? Research on these issues has been carried out by investigators in a number of cognitive science disciplines, particularly psychology, philosophy, and artificial intelligence.ee

[Furthermore] we organize this chapter in terms of a simple heuristic: What do scientists do everyday in their capacity as scientists and what psychological processes are involved in those activities?

Complete citation and link to article given below:

Brewer, W. F. & Mishra, P. (1998) Cognitive Psychology of Science. In Bechtel, W. & Graham, G. (Eds.). A companion to cognitive science. (pp. 744-749). Malden, MA: Basil Blackwell.

EduSummIT 2017: An update

I just returned from participating in EDUsummIT 2017, the fifth International Summit on Information Technology in Education. EDUsummIT is a global knowledge building community of researchers, educational practitioners, and policy makers committed to supporting the effective integration of research and practice in the field of ICT in education. It is held every two years and this year it convened in Borovets, Bulgaria, from September 18 through 20 and was co-hosted by the University of Library Studies & Information Technologies, Sofia, Bulgaria, and the Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development.

EDUsummIT is held every two years and I have been lucky to have been invited to and been part of the past four meetings, in Paris, Washington DC, Bangkok and now Bulgaria. (More info on past EDUsummIT meetings and the results of these meetings can be found here.)

EDUsummIT is not a conference in the typical sense of the word. It is more of an intense working session (spread over two days) where 100+ academics, practitioners and policy makers, form smaller thematic groups and work together on pre-specified topics. It was my privilege to be co-lead one of the Thematic Working Groups with my friend and colleague Dale Niederhauser. Specifically our group (TWG9) focussed on the topic of Supporting Sustainability and Scalability in Educational Technology Initiatives: Research Informed Practice. Other members of the team included (in alphabetical order): Douglas Agyei, Margaret Cox, Sarah Howard, Djordje Kadijevich, Therese Laferriere, Lynne Schrum, Jo Tondeur & Joke Voogt (see below).

It was a fabulous group to work with and the days of the meeting went by in a blur as we worked together as a team to explore the issue of sustainability and scalability in research approaches specifically as they apply to educational technology innovations. A range of products emerged from the meeting, both from the different working groups individually as well as from the conference collectively. Below I list some of these products – for the record.

  • A call to action: The document was a summary of the recommendations by all of the groups
  • TWG9 Poster: A poster that was presented by the TWG9 group at the end of the meeting (Thanks to Sarah Howard for all her work pulling it together in a really short time).
  • Interim report from TWG9: This is a first draft and is the culmination of the work we did together during the meeting.

There will be other products (journal articles and such) that will emerge at a later date, and I will post them here as they appear.

I would like to take a moment to thank all the organizers, sponsors and most importantly all the members of TWG9 for all their hard work and effort in making this such a great meeting.

Finally, I took a lot of photos during my stay at Borovets and then at Sofia. You can find them on a Google photo album here.

Yong Zhao on Creativity & Courage: New article

Here is the next article in our series Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century for the journal TechTrends. This article features an interview with Dr. Yong Zhao, Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas and professorial fellow at the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Victoria University in Australia. Zhao has been a good friend and colleague since our graduate student days in Urbana-Champaign, so it is great to have him on this series. In this interview it becomes clear that his

…perspective on creativity is firmly grounded in its relationship to thinking, teaching, and learning within educational systems. He speaks with a forward looking trajectory, focusing his attention to what creativity means to the future of schools and societies

Lot more in the complete article, which is linked to below:

Richardson, C., Henriksen, D., Mishra, P. & The Deep-Play Research Group (2017). The Courage to be Creative: An interview with Dr. Yong ZhaoTech Trends (61)5. 415-419. DOI 10.1007/s11528-017-0221-1

The beauty of randomness


I have always been intrigued by the idea of how truly random our lives really are. Seemingly minor events can trigger effects, rippling through our lives, effects becoming causes, leading to profound changes and transformations. Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Sound of Thunder” builds on this idea, where the inadvertent death of a butterfly, back in the age of dinosaurs, leads to profound changes in human history.

A similar idea can be seen in the “What if…” genre of historical fiction. The question, “What if the Axis powers had won the war?” leads to Phillip Dick’s novel “The Man in the High Castle.” The question “What if the reformation had never happened?” leads to Kingsley Amis’ novel “The Alteration.” (Incidentally, something interesting I discovered while writing this post was that Amis’ novel mentions an alternate-history novel titled “The Man in the High Castle” by someone called Phillip K. Dick!). This is also the idea behind the film “Sliding doors” though the ending of the film left a lot to be desired (at least in my opinion).

This interest in the the contingent nature of our lives led me to finding other examples (from fiction and film) that aim to capture this idea in powerful and interesting ways. The greatest example of this idea is the novel “Chain of Chance” by Polish science fiction author Stanislaw Lem [Review | Wikipedia page]. Framed as a detective novel or a murder mystery, the novel is actually a philosophical rumination on the role of randomness in our lives and how we seek to find pattern and design even when no such thing exists. As Lem writes:

There’s no such thing as a mysterious event. It all depends on the magnitude of the set. . . Out of the realm of infinite possibilities. . . you chose a certain fraction of cases that exhibited a multifactorial similarity. We now live in such a dense world of random chance, in a molecular and chaotic gas whose ‘improbabilities’ are amazing only to the individual human atoms.

Some of the other examples I have collected from films are included below. One that I could not include is from the film Run Lola Run—partly because I could not find a clip that would capture the ideas since these ideas permeate the entire film. So without further ado, here are my selections that capture the randomness of life, as we know it.


One of my favorite clips is from the 1995 movie City of Lost Children [Wikipedia page]. See the key clip below:


Another great example comes from the 2008 film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button [Wikipedia page]


Finally, a short film called Spin that speaks of some of the same issue, in a very different manner.


Neuroscience & Creativity: New article


The next article in our series Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century for the journal TechTrends was just published. This article features an interview with Dr. Arne Dietrich, professor of neuroscience at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He describes himself as a “tour guide into the bizarre world of brain cells and human behavior.” He has written a textbook on consciousness as well as a more popular book on the neuroscience of creativity. In this interview Dr. Dietrich was quite skeptical…

about what neuroscience offers to complex sociocultural concepts, such as creativity. Dr. Dietrich reminded us that creativity is a complex social phenomenon that is, above all, a created construct. Creativity is difficult to relate to other social constructs, such as certain types of thinking or intelligence, without further reducing it to the mechanisms that make it happen. His reductionist approach may seem ironically positivistic for a topic like creativity, but its repercussions are, in the end, deeply humanizing.

Complete article and citation follows:

Mehta, R., Henriksen, D., Mishra, P. & The Deep-Play Research Group (2017). The Courageous Rationality of Being a Neuroskeptic Neuroscientist: Dr. Arne Dietrich on Creativity and EducationTech Trends (61)5. 415-419. DOI 10.1007/s11528-017-0217-x

2017 Torrance Lecture on Creativity: New video

This past April, I delivered the annual E. Paul Torrance Lecture at the University of Georgia. Being invited to give this talk was a huge honor, for two main reasons. First, because of Paul Torrance, the person for whom this lecture is named. Dr. Torrance, known as the “Father of Creativity,” was (and remains) one of the giants of creativity research. The second reason the invitation meant so much were the scholars who had spoken there in previous years (some of whom are listed on this page). They  include pretty much every big name in creativity research. I am not sure I deserve to be in this group—but there was no way I could turn down this opportunity.

My talk (which you can watch below) was titled: From the Swampy Lowlands of Practice to Unbearable Lightness of Theory: Navigating Creativity, Technology, and Teaching

Note: The E. Paul Torrance Lecture is sponsored by the College of Education‘s Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development at the University of Georgia. I was hosted by two wonderful colleagues Dr. Sarah Summers and Dr. Desiree Sharp – and managed to get a picture with them and a cut-out of Dr. Torrance :-)


Organizational & Team Creativity: New Article

group-creativityIllustration for Group-Creativity by Punya Mishra

The next article in our series Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century just got published by the journal TechTrends. This article features an interview with Dr. Roni Reiter-Palmon, Varner Professor of I/O Psychology and the Director of the I/O Psychology Graduate Program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She also directs for the Center for Collaboration Science, an inter-disciplinary program at University of Nebraska. Her research has focused on creativity and innovation in the workplace (for individuals and teams), cognitive creative processes, team decision-making, and organizational adoption of innovative processes. Speaking to the value of creativity she said:

I think we’re seeing more attention to creativity and innovation because we have lot of complex problems to solve, both as a country, in the world, or anything in the political realm that you want to touch. Whether it’s climate change, or poverty, or anything meaningful—and that awareness drips down to organizations. We don’t have a lot of simple problems these days.

Dr. Reiter-Palmon speaks to a range of themes, in response to this need, in her interview. These include: the importance of problem construction as a precursor to creativity; innovation and creativity in organizations, interdisciplinary and team creativity, and technology as building creative bridges. Read the complete article for yourself:

Keenan, S., Henriksen, D. & The Deep-Play Research Group (2017). Organizational Contexts and Team Creativity: An Interview with Dr. Roni Reiter-Palmon on Innovation Within OrganizationsTech Trends (61)4.

TPACK newsletter #33, June 2017

tpack-tripletTPACK triplet design by Punya Mishra

The latest version of the TPACK newsletter (#33) can be found here (pdf). All previous issues are archived here. A shout-out to Judi Harris for all the work that goes into this.

Origin-al Interface snafu!

innerfaceThe Origins Project at ASU is an attempt to explore humankind’s most fundamental questions about our origins. As the website says, This project brings “together a diverse collection of the world’s leading scientists, scholars, and public intellectuals to discuss, and if possible create, new research opportunities associated with forefront issues ranging from the origin of the universe to the origins of life, modern humans, consciousness, culture, complex systems and technology.”

This weekend the focus is on climate change and a whole series of exciting public events have been announced including a Saturday evening film screening of Werner Herzog’s Salt and Fire followed by a conversation with the director himself! (Lot more details on the website linked above). 

So when I got a chance to snag some free tickets to this event I jumped at the opportunity. I could only make the event on Saturday but the website needed input on the Friday event as well. As you can see, from the screenshot below, the interface insisted that I fill in how many tickets I wanted even though I had said that I would NOT be able to make it on Friday. In essence I was answering the question “how many tickets did I not need!” It’s not a big deal at some level, but funny nonetheless. stupid-interface



Robert Pirsig, 1928 – 2017


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was one of those books that have influenced me deeply. I read it when I was in high school and read it again and again, almost obsessively for a while. It was my companion through college, graduate school and beyond. I assigned sections from it in my master’s and doctoral courses. This is a book that changed me, and its impact on my thinking resonates even today.

Robert Prisig died yesterday. I owe him, and his ideas, a great debt. In his homage, are two images I created today, once I heard the new, from one of my favorite quotes from the book.

languageart-001 languageart-002Note: I edited the quote a bit when I created the designs. The complete (and accurate quote) is “The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or as the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.”


Creativity & Flow: New article

flow180-degree rotational ambigram for “Flow” by Punya Mishra

The next article in our series Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century just got published by the journal TechTrends. This article features Susan Perry, social psychologist, author (of both non-fiction and fiction), and blogger. Specifically the article focuses on her research on flow, creativity, writing, and thinking. As she said in the interview:

Flow is highly conducive for creativity to flourish. It happens when you’re sufficiently challenged to stay engaged in a task, but not so frustrated by your inability to accomplish the task that you become anxious and quit. You forget yourself, time changes or stops for you, and you feel part of something larger than yourself.

This idea of being part of “something larger than yourself,” in a sense transcending the self, is an insight that Dr. Perry emphasizes and discusses in multiple contexts—writing, teaching and learning. Read the complete article for yourself:

Elwood, K., Henriksen, D., Mishra, P. & The Deep-Play Research Group (2017). Finding Meaning in Flow: A Conversation with Susan K. Perry on Writing Creatively. TechTrends. doi:10.1007/s11528-017-0181-5

Review of TPACK Handbook 2nd Edition


Douglas Harvey and Ronald Carol, both at Stockton University in New Jersey have reviewed the 2nd Edition of the TPACK Handbook for the journal TechTrends. You can find the review here.  Complete reference and a link to the first chapter of the handbook can be found here. In an overall positive review, they write:

The greatest value of the book is to those seeking to develop their own research utilizing the model, with each contributed chapter providing source material on all aspects of TPACK as applied to educational research… The breadth of the content is the most valuable aspect of the handbook, covering a wide variety of research designs and contexts.

They go on to write:

The reductive seduction of other people’s problems


The reductive seduction of other people’s problems, Illustration by Punya Mishra

Anurag Behar forwarded an article: The Reductive Seduction of Other People’s Problems, which I really think is a must-read for any of us involved in education or development. The points made in the article have particular resonance for us here at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College as we seek to connect our research and practice with schools and communities.

Below are some thoughts prompted by the article that I shared with my colleagues here at ASU, edited lightly for this posting, though I do recommend reading the entire article it for yourself.

First, the idea of “reductive seduction of other people’s problem,” which I take to mean that the further we are from an issue the easier it seems to solve, is a powerful idea. It is an idea we are familiar with, but it is good to have a phrase to put on it. We know this because we understand that context and perspective matter. This is why the innovation engine work we do is driven by the concerns of the community, or the schools or teachers. This is why we seek to bring all parties into the conversation into the process. This is why we seek to embed ourselves (either through our design work, or through the rethinking of the site coordinators roles) in the contexts we seek to work in. This means that…

… second, we need to think hard about our inclusiveness – and how we define the “other.” Many of us have been challenged by the “tone-deaf” nature of Betsy DeVoss’ comments about public education (wither K12 or higher ed) and the solutions she is seeking to support. I wonder how much of it is due to this process of “reductive seduction” of other people’s problems – the operative word here being “other” – having never been in these contexts, and never having truly understood it, the problem appears simple to solve.

This is akin to something Anurag said a few years ago at AERA regarding the role of data in assessment and evaluation of programs (and I am going to paraphrase him).

The need for data is proportional to the distance we have from the actual context, i.e. the further we are from the situation on the ground, the more we need data to help us understand. The closer we are, the deeper we are embedded, the more we understand nuance, the less the need for a certain kind of data, since we have a textured understanding of what is really happening.

I am not trying to make a political point here – but rather raising it as an issue that we need to be sensitive to. It is this distance we have to be wary about. Which leads to the …

… third point, the need for humility in our own plans and capacities. In this work that we are doing in the innovation engine (and I believe in it and am committed to it) we need to be sensitive that we do not fall into the same trap. That we do not become reductive in our thinking, that we not create that “other” who we can speaking glibly about. Our commitment to collaborative participatory design should never be forgotten. Specifically…

… and finally, there are three sentences from towards the end of the article that I want us to remember as we move forward with this work:

  • Don’t go because you’ve fallen in love with solvability. Go because you’ve fallen in love with complexity.
  • Don’t go because you want to do something virtuous. Go because you want to do something difficult.
  • Don’t go because you want to talk. Go because you want to listen.

Blurred visions: Another history of TPACK


I had posted recently a video based on a talk I had given at ASU. In that video I spoke about the role of theory in research through a history of the TPACK framework. You can see the video here.

Now, my TPACK partner in crime, Matt Koehler, has created his own video of the story, this time for a talk he gave at the recently concluded SITE conference in Austin, Texas. Though we cover pretty much the same ground in our our respective talks, I think there are sections in Matt’s version that are quite insightful. You can see Matt’s video (A brief history of TPACK) here.

Why science teachers should care about social justice? New article

social-justice-images-001I have been editing a series of articles for iWonder: Rediscovering School Science, a practitioner orientated journal for middle school science teachers, published by the Azim Premji University. Our first article was titled “Why teachers should care of beauty in science education and the next one, authored by doctoral candidate Day Greenberg is about social justice in the science classroom. You can access the complete issue here and the article by following the link below:

Greenberg, D. (2017, March). Why science teachers should care about social justiceiWonder: Rediscovering School Science (1) 1, 70-73.

One of the best parts of this series is creating all the illustrations that go with the articles — a challenge I took on for the first article and now has continued on to this one as well. The three original illustrations used in this article are given below. Click on the image to see a high-resolution version. final-images-001

Fig. 1. Science and social justice – finding the balance! License: CC-BY-NC.


Fig. 2. Participatory engagement in a classroom context. In the background is a word cloud created from all the words in the Wikipedia page on “Science.” License: CC-BY-NC.


Fig. 3. The dove with an olive branch, a symbol of peace. Made from icons representative of science, flies against a word-cloud created from all the words in the Wikipedia page on “Social Justice.” License: CC-BY-NC.

Shulman on learning

One of my favorite quotes about learning. From this article, Taking Learning Seriously the entirety of which is worth reading. But for now here is the quote, and a visual (just because):

Learning is least useful when it is private and hidden; it is most powerful when it becomes public and communal. Learning flourishes when we take what we think we know and offer it as community property among fellow learners so that it can be tested, examined, challenged, and improved before we internalize it — Lee Shulman