I want to share two recent publications that came out that I wrote focused on participatory learning in schools. Both focused on the alternate reality game I created as part of my dissertation research, Ask Anansi, these two publications look at the challenges and constraints of sustaining participatory learning within today’s public schools.
First, in the most recent issue of Knowledge Quest, I have an article titled, “Inform, Perform, Transform: Modeling In-School Youth Participatory Action Research through Gameplay.”
Here, I focus primarily on how Ask Anansi functioned as participatory action research (PAR) and some of the limitations of YPAR within traditional school power dynamics. Buffy Hamilton, the special issue’s co-editor wrote a great blog post about the issue here. I would like to piggyback on what Buffy wrote and just say that this issue is full of really powerful work looking at participatory learning. I know many of my education-based colleagues may not necessarily be looking to publications from the American Association of School Librarians for PAR and YPAR resources, but this is a good one.
Next, the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab released the recent report, “Designing with Teachers: Participatory Approaches to Professional Development in Education.” In it, I wrote a chapter titled “A Conversation with Anansi: Professional Development as Alternate Reality Gaming and Youth Participatory Action Research.” Notice a trend here? This piece is a bit more playful than some of my other work, functioning primarily as a discussion of how args can function as teacher PD while also acting as a mock-interview with a talking spider. Henry Jenkins wrote about our working group’s major findings on his blog here. I am grateful to Henry, Erin Reilly, and Iona Literat for inviting me to participate in this working group.