Shawn Thomas Loescher's Lab

Featured projects (3)

The purpose of my action research study is to explore possible misalignment(s) of policy, practice, expectations, and what schools are engaged in when compared to what is required for students to be successful in post-secondary environments. This examines the situational influences of Bronfenbrenner's (1994; 1977) Ecological Systems Theory on students labeled high needs and Snyder's Hope Theory (HT; 2002) may be used as a strategy to improve student opportunity and achievement. This culmination of the four cycles of action research is the subject of my dissertation for a doctoral degree in leadership and innovation.
Urban Discovery Schools and the UC San Diego Design Lab have partnered in a series of presentations and conference papers for the CSSR annual meeting in February 2019. The purpose of these presentations was to share the wider implications of using design thinking in educational institutions T/K-12.
The goal of this project is explore various aspects of design thinking in T/K-12 education. This includes implications to instruction, assessment, curriculum, organizational development, community engagement, and leadership. This project originated from researched developed for the 2019 Center for Secondary Schools Redesign conference.

Featured research (16)

Innovation is a buzz word that is subjective and can illicit palpable feeling of organizational pride or fear. But what is innovation? What are some of the frameworks that produce the environments that embrace innovation? What are the characteristics of innovative leadership that create an organizational culture that values not just innovation, but the processes that support it which may also lead to high levels of failure. In this presentation Dr. Loescher reflects on innovation, and provides a brief introduction on his views on it from his own research and leadership experiences.
Within the literature, action research (AR) has been described as a method and a dispositional approach. This overview of the attributes of AR takes the position that AR is a dispositional approach to research methods that has desirable methods associated with it. This presentation to doctoral students at East Stroudburg University of Pennsylvania examined the foundations of AR, the dispositional attributes of AR, the positionality of the researcher within AR, and why AR my be an innovators approach to systems change in education.
Design thinking (DT) has demonstrated promising use in a wide variety of fields. Rather than a method, DT represents an approach that requires relinquishing preconceived notions of solutions, having a high tolerance for ambiguity, seeking to identify needs before engaging in problem-solving, being human-centered, and engaging in a reflective process. This concept paper was based upon the author's personal experience as active scholarly practitioners at T/K-12 school sites, a literature review, proposed a framework, and argues that DT represents an approach to advance constructivist practice in the classroom and across school operations. Scholarly significance included a philosophical framework for DT and implications for classroom and school practice.
Students may be situated within complex systems that are nested within each other. This complexity may also envelop institutional structures that lead to the socioeconomic reification of student post-secondary opportunities by obscuring positive goals. Building on previous cycles of action research, this multi-strand mixed-methods action research study examined the effectiveness of an innovation designed to address student, teacher, and parental understandings of college and career readiness. This innovation was developed and implemented using a participatory action research model and included a student program administered during an advisory period and evening parent education programs. Findings included the importance of parent involvement, the influence of positive goals, relational implications of goal setting and pathway knowledge on agentic thinking, and that teacher implementation of the innovation may have influenced student hope levels.
Design thinking (DT) can be considered a method, approach, or disposition towards problem solving, organizational development, and community building. The traditions of DT date to the 1950’s and originate from a variety of design sciences. In this UC San Diego, Design @ Large presentation, Dr. Loescher explores DT and how it can be utilized to transform organizations and communities. This includes an exploration of theory, situating DT within organizational philosophy, and how it is practically being used in the private and social sectors as a way of mobilizing transformational generative thinking. Key words: Design thinking, design sciences, organizational development, generative thinking

Lab head

Shawn Thomas Loescher
About Shawn Thomas Loescher
  • Dr. Loescher is an AERA awarded scholarly practitioner in the field of action research and sciences. He has over 25 years of experience, both domestically and abroad, in educational innovation and school system redesign. In 2019, Dr. Loescher was named one of 16 worldwide recipients of the TED-Ed Innovative Educators award that included a talk from the TED Summit. He currently serves as a Chief Executive Officer of an inner-city school system in California.

Members (2)

Michèle Morris
  • University of California, San Diego
Chloe Medina
  • California State University, San Marcos