Koh to discuss youth maker learning at AERA Annual Meeting

Kyungwon Koh
Kyungwon Koh, Associate Professor

Associate Professor Kyungwon Koh and her collaborators from the University of Oklahoma and Norman Public Schools will present their research at the 2019 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, which will be held on April 5-9 in Toronto, Canada. The theme of this year's meeting is "Leveraging Education Research in a Post-Truth Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence."

In their talk, "Bounded Autonomy: Students' Maker Learning Experiences in Public High School English Inquiry Units," Koh will discuss a case study that explored high school students' maker learning experiences in their school's inquiry-based maker units. The maker learning approach assumes that people learn as they make and share hands-on projects that are personally meaningful and potentially contribute to the community. For their study, they used multiple data sources, such as interviews, participant observation, and artifact analysis. 

"The results revealed tensions between fostering student autonomy in learner-centered, interest-based learning and constraints within the school curriculum and the structure of the inquiry units, as well as students' abilities to direct their own learning," Koh said. "Educators' scaffolding (in which teachers model or demonstrate how to solve a problem and then step back, offering support as needed) played a significant role in helping students overcome challenges and pushing them out of their comfort zone."

At the conclusion of the study, Koh and her team proposed a concept of bounded autonomy, in which students exercise ownership, choices, and control over their learning within contextual structures or constraints, as a useful concept to bridge interest-based learning and standards-based learning.

Koh's areas of expertise include digital youth, the maker movement, learning and community engagement through libraries, human information behavior, and competencies for information professionals. She is currently a co-chair of the ALISE Youth Services SIG. Koh earned her MS and PhD in library and information studies from Florida State University and BS in library and information science from Yonsei University in South Korea.

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