Educational Design:
A Science, Art, and/or Tool for Transforming Futures

Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity, or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.
— Paulo Freire

The overarching vision for this year’s Graduate Student Research Conference is examining the idea of Educational Design - critically, creatively and pedagogically. This concept may be expressed through:

  • Exploring teachers and researchers as creative designers (How do educational researchers and teachers innovate design today to prepare students for tomorrow?);

  • Probing into and provoking the discipline of Education in new ways (Whose voices have been heard and whose have silenced in creating policies, curriculum documents, research studies, classroom communities, etc?);

  • Questioning how we conceptualize design within principles of pedagogy and practical teaching strategies (Is educational design a science, an art, a tool, or all or none of these?)

Creatively flexible, this topic can be explored by researchers, teachers, curriculum theorists and designers, psychologists, and higher education specialists, as well as educators at all levels who bring an active social justice and equity lens into education. This adaptable theme has been chosen to allow for unique perspectives and spark diverse discussions towards the goal of renewing our deep appreciation for education. For a list of all themes in education related to this overarching topic, please see Presentation Topics.

Design is in everything we make, but it’s also between those things. It’s a mix of craft, science, storytelling, propaganda and philosophy
— Erik Adigard