His current research focuses on how families and educators in out-of-school environments can use design theory and design methodologies to co-create with the learners, activities and contexts for effective learning of STEM+Art content and practices. Sedas received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master in Public Administration from Brigham Young University, and a Master in Education In Learning and Developmental Sciences from Indiana University. For his doctoral work, he is specializing in Teaching, Learning, and Educational Improvement (TLEI). Pepper serves as his advisor.
An artist by training, Peppler is an associate professor in both Informatics and Education at UCI. She engages in research that focuses on the intersection of arts, computational technologies and interest-driven learning. Peppler holds a Ph.D. in Urban Schooling from UCLA, where she was part of the NSF-sponsored team that designed and studied the Scratch platform. Peppler earned a National Science Foundation early CAREER award for her work on how e-textiles and other computational construction kits popularized through the Maker movement can deepen learning and broaden participation across a range of STEM fields. Her research been published in leading journals, including Computers & Human Behavior; Mind, Culture & Activity; British Journal of Educational Technology; Journal of Science and Educational Technology; Studies in Arts Education; Review of Research in Education; Teachers College Record; and Learning, Media & Technology.
The learning sciences, informed by a diversity of fields such as cognitive science, anthropology, education, and sociology, has a long history with design while engaging in the study of learning in real-world, non-simplified contexts. From its genesis approximately thirty years ago, the learning sciences as a field has grown to encompass the study of learning from different lenses, as well as to advance theories of learning through the design and study of new technologies and environments. Within the realm of the learning sciences, the concept of design and design thinking is of great consequence as it helps us understand how teaching and learning happen in the rapidly changing 21st-century knowledge society, as well as can be used to inform the design of effective, innovative, and equitable interventions. Design thinking in the learning sciences can be made manifest in activities ranging from iterative curriculum design, to researching affordances and constraints of tools, techniques, and learning environments, to appropriating design concepts in both physical and digital spaces. It also sheds light on how the socio-material histories of materials inform learning and participation. This bibliography focuses on learner-centered design principles and how various research methodologies (e.g., participatory design and design-based research) contribute to appropriating design thinking into learning, teaching, and pedagogical processes. The evolution of this field is interwoven in the powers of design.