Design as critical engagement in and for education


  • Christoph Richter Kiel University
  • Heidrun Allert Kiel University



critical design, reflexive design, research framework


This paper aims to outline an approach of critical engagement in educational research that moves beyond traditional formats of academic critique. The aim of our contribution is to explore the critical dimension of reflexive design for education and contrast it with recently advocated notions of design-based research. Rather than providing a full-fledged methodology, our intent is to motivate more critical design efforts in education and provide examples on how this could be done. Towards this end we outline a framework of critical research questions for design-based research and provide examples of how critical design could be practiced in education.


Author Biographies

Christoph Richter, Kiel University

Christoph Richter holds a Diploma in Psychology and is currently working as a learning facilitator and independent researcher. He has previously been working as a researcher in the Department of Education at Kiel University, Germany, and part time lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. His research focuses on the methodological foundations of design-based research, (computer-supported) collaborative learning and creative knowledge practices. He is particularly interested in design as a collaborative form of inquiry. Since 2002 he has been involved in a number of national and international projects in the areas of technology-enhanced learning and computer-supported collaborative work.

Heidrun Allert, Kiel University

Heidrun Allert is a full professor and the head of the department of Media Education/Educational Computer Sciences at Kiel University, Germany. Her current research interests are in the area of inquiry and support of knowledge practices, as well as the role of epistemic artefacts. Since 2000, she has been involved in a number of national and international projects in the areas of technology-enhanced learning and knowledge work. From 2004 to 2010 she was head of the department for "Engineering for Computer-Based Learning“ and „Communication and Knowledge Media“ at the FH Oberösterreich in Hagenberg/Austria.




How to Cite

Richter, C., & Allert, H. (2017). Design as critical engagement in and for education. EDeR. Educational Design Research, 1(1).



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