G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)
Participatory design : an approach for involving teachers as design partners (2019)

Tuhkala, A. (2019). Participatory design : an approach for involving teachers as design partners [Doctoral dissertation]. Jyväskylän yliopisto. JYU dissertations, 92. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7782-5

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Tuhkala, Ari

eISBN: 978-951-39-7782-5

Journal or series: JYU dissertations

eISSN: 2489-9003

Publication year: 2019

Number in series: 92

Number of pages in the book: 1 verkkoaineisto (73 sivua, 68 sivua useina numerointijaksoina)

Publisher: Jyväskylän yliopisto

Place of Publication: Jyväskylä

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: English

Persistent website address: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7782-5

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel


Teachers play an important role in preparing students for a fast-moving, globalised, and digitalised world. Research to date on teachers and technology has focused on teachers’ skills in using technology and integrating it into learning and teaching. However, the issue is that teachers are often seen as implementors, but are denied the opportunity to influence w hat i s b eing i m plemented. Thus, teachers may perceive that they are being forced to adopt technology without proper cause. To address this issue, this dissertation examines participatory design as an approach for involving teachers as design partners. Previous participatory design studies in educational contexts have focused on students. To expand such research to include teachers, the present dissertation examines the following: For what purpose have participatory design studies examined teachers? How are teachers’ goals and concerns manifested through participatory design? What issues can be observed when involving teachers in participatory design? The research design comprises three parts: systematic literature mapping of participatory design studies involving teachers; a project involving teachers from a special education school to design a learning space system; and a project piloting a new subject as an elective course in Danish lower secondary education. The systematic mapping produced an overview of the current state of research into participatory design involving teachers. Teachers’ goals and concerns demonstrated how participatory design contributes to the development of a shared pedagogical vision and communication between political decisionmakers and local teachers. The identified i ssues in the two projects were connected to findings from the literature mapping to propose three building blocks of participatory design for involving teachers: identifying roles, needs, rights, and responsibilities, positioning participation as a possibility instead of an obligation, and clarifying an agenda for sustainable outcomes. This dissertation thus serves as a foundation for future efforts in involving teachers in decision-making, for example when introducing digital technologies in education.

Keywords: participatory design; social inclusion; teachers; educational technology; school system; digitalisation

Free keywords: participatory design; design; design-based research; educators; education; school; technology; digital technologies; digitalisation

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

Last updated on 2021-09-06 at 05:04