With his thesis, entitled, “Risk-conscious Ethnographic Approach in Digital Mobile Outdoor Learning Education”, Cohen explores his key research interests, which are students’ non-participation in their own learning, the development of curricula that link formal and informal learning and so contribute to wider social issues around community cohesion and the development of enquiry-based approaches to learning that supports and develops independent learning skills and dispositions.
At the heart of Cohen’s research project is the question of what pedagogic value is added by employing a digital ethnographic pedagogy as opposed to more traditional modes of teaching.
This project aims to:
- address the issue of non-participation by students in their own learning.
- support educators to develop curricula that link formal and informal learning and so contribute to wider social issues around community cohesion.
- provide educators with a means of developing enquiry-based approaches to learning that support and develop independent learning skills and dispositions.
Working with teachers and students in educational settings in the West Midlands, Cohen will implement a project in order to address the following research questions:
- What pedagogical value is afforded by the ethnographic use of digital mobile technologies at school as a vehicle for critical-reflexive learning?
- How can digital ethnographic pedagogy, in the form of mobile outdoor learning, increase engagement and participation among both learners and teachers?
- What is the potential for ‘low-tech’ lesson implementation to transgress perceived boundaries between mobile ICT and traditional curriculum areas and modes of learning and teaching in these spaces?
- How can ethnographic digital mobile outdoor learning enable ‘risk-taking’ for learners and how is ‘risk-taking’ socio-culturally framed within pedagogic and research discourses?