Monthly Archives: February 2015

DBR and Technotheocurriculum @ Provoking Curriculum Conference 2015

I had the privilege of participating in the CACS 7th Biennial Provoking Curriculum Conference at UBC. As indicated by the title of the conference, the purpose was to provoke curriculum studies by attending to the multiple denotations of provoke: to stimulate, arouse, elicit, induce, excite, kindle, generate, instigate, goad, prick, sting, prod, infuriate, madden, ruffle, stir, and inflame.

The first day, our ‘How We Learn‘ research team presented a panel discussion about Design Based Research (DBR). The abstract is as follows:

In the second decade of the 21st century, to ask the question “how do we learn?” is to ask questions of “how we learn media and technology across the lifespan” (HWL). Formal educational systems are challenged by 21st century learning while researchers are challenged to document cognitive implications of new media and technologies. Over the past decade, our research program has empirically explored problems of learning media and technology across the lifespan. Our field and lab investigations focus on the problem of how (not whether) new media and technologies affect learning across the lifespan. With a core of graduate students, our research team has been immensely productive and original in reconceptualizing cognition, learning, media, technology, and their interdependencies with curriculum. This panel focuses on Design-Based Research (DBR) 2.0 methodologies.

The key objectives of this panel are 1) to profile methodological advancements and insights in DBR derived from lab and field-based studies; 2) to prompt discussion on DBR in context of new technologies and the design turn in DIY or maker culture. Providing empirical examples, this symposium introduces advancements in DBR and connects interest in DBR with understandings of design and engineering cognition. The format will be conversational and demonstrative, beginning with a series of focus questions to generate interest and audience discussion. A series of demonstrations of DBR will be provided as examples and to provide depth of understanding. The overall goal is to provoke new understandings of methodology in context of design-based research 2.0 into curriculum, media, technology and learning.

The second presentation consisted of Dr Stephen Petrina, Dr Franc Feng, and myself, speaking about the intersection of technology, theology, and curriculum. The description of our presentation is as follows:

In many ways, curriculum, technology, and theology emerge coincidentally or contemporaneously within Homer, specifically within the Iliad and Odyssey. The three are somewhat conceptually interrelated in Homer and subsequently Hesiod. In Homer, the concepts, practices and words are given their ancient meanings. Medieval and modern derivatives and meanings are in some ways are quite similar and in other ways distinct from ancient Homeric and Platonic uses. Our premise is that curriculum, technology and theology are co-emergent— mutually interdependent. We do not have one without the others. This is not merely semantics. By acknowledging these interdependencies we can begin to provoke and understand curriculum anew.

This panel provides three perspectives and papers on TechnoTheoCurriculum. The first paper, “On the History and Metaphysics of Curriculum,” describes ancient encounters with curriculum, technology, and theology as they co-emerge. Inasmuch curriculum refers to the loneliness of the long distance runner, it also refers to the Circum Maximum, Maxime Circe, or the Circus Maximus, referencing chariots and conjuring up a complex technotheological infrastructure. The second paper, “Understanding Curriculum as Technotheological Text,” provides a history of a late medieval and early modern re-emergence of curriculum and technology in a Protestant and Calvinist culture at the hands of Peter Ramus. This paper traces Ramist interdependencies of curriculum, technology, and theology through the seventeenth century in the work of William Ames and technometry. The third paper, “On the History of Hermeneutic Techniques,” traces a circle from twenty-first century understandings of curriculum, technology and theology through Augustine’s City of God.

And finally, just for fun, here’s a timelapse video of our technotheocurriculum session.

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