(Photo Credit: Climate & Urban Systems Partnership)
I attended a structured poster session Fostering Networks and Collectives in the Out-of-School Sector at 2017 AERA and found this interesting poster paper titled Heterogeneous Networks and Local Learning: How We Collaborate in the Informal World.
The researchers shared their experiences working with various informal learning institutions on a common goal of climate change education. One challenge in the early phase of this collaboration was to build a shared vision. The hub institution who organizes the efforts found that traditional meetings were not effective to find consensus. They adopted the boundary object approach to address this challenge. Boundary objects “are objects which are both plastic enough to adapt to local needs and constraints of the several parties employing them, yet robust enough to maintain a common identity across sites.” All participating organizations each work respectively on an educational object that can be used for various exhibition events and festivals. These objects will be of each organization’s interests but also represent their unique ways to address climate change issues. Understanding by making becomes an effective way to foster collectives. See more details about these playful objects.
We have used a similar approach at previous design events in the Learning Theater. This project gives us some more inspirations for future works in this playful-doing-for-understanding direction.