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Exploring Joy and Learning in Low-Income Schools using Design-Thinking Strategies.

Croichy, Joel (2019) Exploring Joy and Learning in Low-Income Schools using Design-Thinking Strategies. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

This study explored joy and learning in low-income schools using design-thinking strategies. The researcher gathered 29 individuals consisting of teachers, former students, parents of former students, administrators, counselors, and church members who come from and work in low-income schools. The researcher conducted a 10-minute activity with children ages 7-10, who attend Sunday school, where they created collages of images that showcased what brings them joy in general. In addition, two individuals who previously attended low incomes schools journaled their experiences. Upon completion of the Sunday school activity and journaling, two workshops were conducted. The first workshop involved three design-thinking methods: rose, thorn, bud, affinity clustering and statement starters. The intention of these workshops was to identify patterns and positives, negatives, and possibilities associated with student learning and joy in low-income schools. The second workshop consisted of two design-thinking methods: round robin and visualize the vote where participants shared ideas and passed them along until an unconventional solution was found. Results indicated that building a sense of safety in school and mental toughness by overcoming adversity could help provide joy, while poor conditions (lack of technology, gangs) in low-income schools lead to higher dropout rates. While eight patterns emerged from the affinity clustering exercise (e.g., positive communities, poor building conditions, lack of financial support, etc.), participants focused on creating stability in schools as the most important feature. Through the round robin exercise, participants created a program that enhanced free activities for low-income students inside and outside of school, including bowling, park access, dancing, music, and reading. These activities could engage in learning, create constancy, and create joy.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Joel M Croichy
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2020 13:32
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2020 13:32
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/566

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