In recent decades, scholars have recognized that education is influenced by diverse factors and those factors exert complex and previously unknown influences. Shasha Barab, a scholar from Indiana University, Bloomington, and Kurt Squire, a scholar from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, reasoned that “learning, cognition, knowing, and context are irreducib[ly] co-constructed and cannot be treated as isolated entities or processes” (Barab and Squire 2004, 1), and as a result the tools, curriculum, and methods educators employ must that reflect that complexity. Those tools for educators arise from design-based research through which educators communicate needs and local circumstances and researchers respond with research that has direct applications to classrooms and learning environments. Such a streamlined approach to defining research problems can lead directly to applications for curriculum and instruction when clear and meaningful communication between educators and researchers is facilitated by a shared framework.
Barab, Sasha, and Kurt Squire. 2004. “Design-Based Research: Putting a Stake in the Ground.” Journal of the Learning Sciences 13(1): 1-14. doi:10.1207 /s15327809jls1301_1.