A tale of two technologies: opening the practices of historians, opening public servant curriculum

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Thesis type
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Date created
The design study documented in this dissertation is grounded in the material production of two technologies, one educational and one research. These two technologies pursue a common goal of providing secondary students with equal opportunities to learn how to do meaningful historical research. The methodological framework used is design-based research. Two cycles of software development are presented as a series of design narratives. The first technology’s educational goal is to support students learn to do meaningful historical research. The proposed means to this end is the provision of curricular resources that guide students towards the completion of historical research. These curricular resources are in the form of digital media representing historical inquiry as mediated action within a community of academic historians. The educational soundness of this design, however, is called into question when demographic studies reveal inequalities between the population of academic historians and the general population served by public schools. Needing to discuss how inequities can be removed without shifting the burden to schools, the glimmer of hope I find is in curriculum created for public servants. With no substantial literature about public servant curriculum, a second cycle of software development is initiated. The goal of this technology is to encourage discussion about how public servant curriculum can participate in dismantling inequities that impede schools. The means to this end is a technology that makes extensive use of freedom of information legislation to acquire documents about public servant curriculum that are in the custody of government institutions and make them widely available on the Internet.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: O’Neill, Kevin
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