The work I have done in the past has shaped my vision and values on what I want to design in the program and the future.
Before my Master's Degree, I worked for non-profit organizations, cultural institutions, and schools that promote specific equity values and access to educational opportunities. I have been particularly interested in the Latin American context, which has its challenges and priorities in terms of equity and ensuring human rights such as access to education & basic human needs, safety, belonging, identity formation, among others… but also huge issues of inequality, corruption, abuse of power and its cultural practices that are very rich in each community and country.
This is an excellent opportunity for me to reflect on those values and make affordable designs for different populations to use and feel identified with, included, and help them grow and thrive (be the best version of themselves).
Some challenges that I observed in previous work were, for example, teachers not being able to connect with students during the pandemic due to lack of internet access, girls and adolescents growing up with burdens on their roles in their families and communities, and not being able to imagine other possibilities or identity or facing safety risks on the internet and beyond. I would be interested in connecting with communities to understand their cultural affordances and values.
Influence on my aspirations...
As I started thinking about social justice and designing innovative and equitable learning experiences, I am now thinking about the HOW or elements that are important to take into account. I have been wondering about the richness and value of family engagement for early learners. How the role of caregivers in scaffolding influences building not only islands of expertise but also values, funds of knowledge, rich learning experiences to relate to as prior knowledge, identity as a learner, and socio-emotional engagement that can thrive into intrinsic motivation. This is a way of preparing for future learning.
I am convinced that by working towards ensuring that all early learners have access to high-quality interactions with significant caregivers, exciting and playful experiences, and are encouraged to make connections to foster their natural curiosity and creativity in rich and holistic experiences (including STEM, values, art, and SEL) we will have invested in developing lifelong learners that would aim for people that are prepared to build a better future and planet.
You can see in my project section three projects (empathy games, curiously, Telling science and that aim to provide a variety of engaging learning experiences to young children, two (curiously and empathy games) are aimed to also foster parent/caregivers engagement.
Moreover, in further projects or professional experiences, I would like to implement designing innovative and culturally responsive learning experiences that help to achieve equity and reduce the gap (learning gap/economic gap) in disenfranchised communities. I have learned that a co-design process provides opportunities for ownership, agency, and accountability from all the stakeholders, more importantly, the learner population.
How can I incorporate analyses and considerations of power into my designs? Why is it important to me?
By getting inputs and feedback from different variations of people as co-designers through the design process. Analyze through different lenses and how they might be affected to overcome personal biases that I don't see and acknowledge more perspectives. Invest in developing trust and relationships.
By providing means, examples, and ways, every learner feels empowered, self-efficacy, and agency towards their learning.
Co-design for specific groups in some situations to have a voice and develop their best selves.
It is important to me because It's part of my values to think of ways to reduce inequality through education.
I need to learn and continue learning in my role as LE as a lifelong learner.