Design principles as a bridge between contexts: From innovation in the science museum to transformation in formal education
Keywords:conjecture mapping, curriculum design, curriculum innovation, innovation labs, science communication, teacher professional learning
This paper responds to Euler's consideration of the use of design principles to bridge between knowledge production and practice design in the first issue of this journal; and particularly to the question he left open on how design principles should be formulated more concretely. It does so by extending the discussion of the use of Sandoval's approach of 'conjecture mapping'. In this discussion article, we reflect upon our own efforts at a related form of 'bridge building', specifically on work to span the gap in practice designs between the contexts of science museums and more formal education settings. Museums offer opportunities for educational innovation. The evidence of impact of such innovation on the more formal le- arning environments, however, has been limited. Teachers in formal settings, it appears, tend to adopt individual exemplar activities, but do not transfer the innovative approaches to their wider practice. The ambition of the project we examine here was to design teacher professional learning activities that allow participants to move beyond a focus on the specifications of a specific innovation and instead appreciate - to make concrete - the design principles in use. We will argue that conjecture mapping has been useful making design principles concrete but, in doing so, will point to the need for further research
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