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Reinventing learning: a design-research odyssey

  • Author(s): Abrahamson, D
  • et al.

Design research is a broad, practice-based approach to investigating problems of education. This approach can catalyze the development of learning theory by fostering opportunities for transformational change in scholars’ interpretation of instructional interactions. Surveying a succession of design-research projects, I explain how challenges in understanding students’ behaviors promoted my own recapitulation of a historical evolution in educators’ conceptualizations of learning—Romantic, Progressivist, and Synthetic (Schön, Intuitive thinking? A metaphor underlying some ideas of educational reform (working paper 8). Division for Study and Research in Education, MIT, Cambridge, 1981)—and beyond to a proposed Systemic view. In reflection, I consider methodological adaptations to design-research practice that may enhance its contributions in accord with its objectives.

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