My name is Bronya Calderón, a female, currently a PhD student, self-funding, at the Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, working under the supervision of Professors: Lesley Lancaster and Keri Facer. I am a pedagogic expert, who specialises in digital technologies; I received a Bachelor Degree in Pedagogy from the National Distance University of Spain and a Master of Research (MRes) from Manchester Metropolitan University.
I am currently on the writing up stage of my thesis. My research project took place in two settings,; an after school club and a museum, both in London. In the first stage I used Activity theory, Social Semiotic, Ethnography and Multimodal perspectives to develop a framework to study: ‘How children make meaning with Digital Technologies in Informal Learning Environments’ (research question). The second stage involved the design of an ‘informal learning environment’, in the museum, but also the application and evaluation of this framework. By using this combined approach, I was able to understand the relationship between individuals and their environment. It allows me to identify how meaning making practices occur within a social situation; across time, places and events. I argue that children’s meaning making processes exist across practices and texts and their hybrid practices requires a theory of meaning making that encompasses a range of practice which are inter-related. In theorising meaning-making as a socially situated activity, I go beyond the individual sign maker to conceive the collective joint activity and the presence of multiple communities of practice that creates and facilitates multiple meaning-making experiences and trajectories. As an academic and a researcher, I participate actively in events related with socio-cultural theory, identity, discourse and learning, such as the Socio-cultural Theory Interest Group (ScTIG) at the University of Manchester. I also presented a paper (University of Manchester, September 2007) ‘The role of informal learning: How children construct meaning with digital technologies’ at the 2nd Socio-cultural Theory in Educational Research and Practice Conference: Theory, Identity and Learning.
I would be very grateful to participate in the Summer School, which will be an opportunity for international networking, to discuss the current ISCAR topics. It also could be an opportunity for me to discuss some of my current ideas/finding of my project, theorising learning as meaning-making (see attachment). In particular I would like to discuss: 1) The relationship between socio-cultural theory in Educational Research and pedagogy. 2) Methodologies and theories to approach learning as a social practice in out-of- school settings.