Note: Post image was produced using DALL-E 3

This semester has been busy. Here are some updates and publications.

August in Glasgow: European Educational Research Association

In August, I attended the European Educational Research Association (EERA) in Glasgow, Scotland. I met some great new collaborators, including a community of academics focused on complexity in professional leadership and learning. I gave two presentations:

  • Warr, M. (2023, August 24). Learning to see complexity: A case study of teachers designing in diverse contexts. The European Conference on Educational Research. The European Conference on Educational Research, Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Warr, M., & Mishra, P. (2023, August 22). The five spaces for design in education. The European Conference on Educational Research, Glasgow, Scotland.

September: ChatGPT and Teachers

September (well, partly end of August) began with a new topic for my research: generative AI as used in education, particularly ethical use and what these means for teacher education. I was honored to be included on a paper with Punya Mishra and Rezwana Islam published in the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education.

Abstract: The educational impact of Generative AI (GenAI) technologies, such as ChatGPT, has received significant attention. We use the TPACK framework to discuss the types of knowledge teachers require to effectively use GenAI tools. We highlight the qualities of GenAI that make it like other digital technologies (they are protean, opaque, and unstable) as well as qualities that make it revolutionary (namely, they are generative and social). We describe how these traits affect specific knowledge domains (TK, TPK, TCK, XK, and TPACK) and explore implications for educators. Finally, we argue for a more expansive description of Contextual Knowledge (XK), going beyond the immediate context to include considerations of how GenAI will change individuals, society and, through that, the broader educational context.

Mishra, P., Warr, M., & Islam, R. (2023). TPACK in the age of ChatGPT and Generative AI. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education39(4), 235–251.

October: Yes, ChatGPT is Biased

My research focus deepened while I collaborated with a graduate student and teacher (Roger Isaac). Roger was interested in talking with teachers at his school about how they were using ChatGPT, including potential bias in essay grading. One late night, I realized there was an easy way to check for this bias: describe a student to ChatGPT, give a passage supposedly written by the student, and ask GPT to give feedback and the score. I was shocked at the differences I found. Thus began hours of copying, pasting, and reviewing statistical methods to attempt to understand what was happening. And collaborating with many fantastic scholars.

We submitted our first publication for review and made it available in pre-print:

Warr, Melissa and Oster, Nicole Jakubczyk and Isaac, Roger (2023). Implicit Bias in Large Language Models: Experimental Proof and Implications for Education. Available at SSRN:

November: Forming the BAIS Research Collaborative

Given the interest in those I shared these findings with, I decided to pull together a research collaborative that can focus on these issues. We had our first meeting in November. We created our group name and began some projects. Punya Mishra created a fantastic logo:

December: BAIS Expands

We’re just starting out December, and our December BAIS meeting was busy. We now have 15 members, including collaborators from Arizona State University, New Mexico State University, University of Texas El Paso, and Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez in Mexico.

We have 5 research projects in process with several planned presentations and publications. I am so grateful for these brilliant collaborators and can’t wait to see what’s next!

Other Publications

Per usual, the academic publishing cycle can be a bit delayed. Here are some more publications that finally made their way to print this semester:

Warr, M., & Wakefield, W. (2023). Supporting teachers in designing for intersectionality. In B. Hokanson, M. Exter, M. Schmidt, & A. Tawfik (Eds.), Toward Inclusive Learning Design: Social Justice, Equity, and Community (pp. 171–181). Springer, Cham.

Abstract: Educational researchers and instructional designers often attempt to create standardized tools and curricular programs that will be effective in all learning contexts. This practice often neglects the diverse needs of learners, particularly those from historically marginalized communities. In this chapter, we draw upon the concepts of intersectional identity, figural complexity, particularity, and design to argue for the need to support teachers in creating opportunities for learning customized to the students in their classrooms. We present design, specifically framing teachers as designers, as a tool that can empower teachers to create learning opportunities that are customized for the diverse intersectional identities of the students they teach.

Warr, M., & Mishra, P. (2023). Learning to see complexity: Teachers designing amidst indeterminacyProfessional Development in Education, 1–17.

Abstract: Scholars have called for considering professional learning (PL) through the lens of complexity. One lens for operating amidst complexity is design. Designers thrive in complexity because of the responsive nature of their work; a designer develops their practice in response to a particular situa- tion, adapting as it changes. Thus, a design lens is useful for navigating complexity in teacher learning and practice. As a designer, a teacher learns and practices in a classroom amidst complex nested systems. Design calls for seeing beyond traditional, linear practice; experimenting with new approaches; and adjusting those approaches in response to the situation’s feedback loops. In this article, we illustrate the relationship among complexity, design, and PL through examples from four teachers who participated in a design-centred PL program before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program aimed to support teachers in a creative design approach to address a problem of practice. Analysis highlighted that when teachers needed to learn and practice amidst complexity, it was difficult to see possibilities outside of traditional practice and to perceive feedback from the situation. Our analysis suggests that a focus on finding non-traditional approaches and listening to disruptive feedback might support teachers to learn and practice amidst complexity.

Close, K., Warr, M., & Mishra, P. (2023). The ethical consequences, contestations, and possibilities of designs in educational systemsTechTrends : For Leaders in Education & Training.

Abstract: Design is everywhere. Recognizing how everything in education is designed, including systems and cultures, increases our agency to make changes on those designs. In this chapter, we introduce the five spaces framework which pro- vides an analytical tool for understanding the relationships among designed entities, shifting perspectives and offering new possibilities for (re)design. To illustrate the framework, we analyze three technologies in education: the teacher’s desk, PISA test, and learning management systems.

Warr, M., Close, K., & Mishra, P. (2023). What is is not what has to be: The five spaces framework as a lens for (re)design in education. In Formative Design in Learning (pp. 305–315). Springer Nature Switzerland.

Abstract: Emerging technologies present new possibilities for schools, but also present ethical issues for designers. Ethical issues arising from the design, accessibility, adoption, and implementation of emerging technologies in schools are intertwined with existing power dynamics, hierarchies, and decision-making norms that perpetuate entrenched systems. Using a framework called the fives spaces for design in education framework as an analytical lens, we explore the ethical implications of two emerging artificial intelligence technologies in education: remote proctoring software and large language models. We find that designers adopting and implementing these emerging technologies must attend to the consequences of past design decisions and recognize that emerging technologies also create places for resistance and contestations. Lastly, by recognizing the wide scope of what can be redesigned, designers can start to see possibilities for redesigning in ways that are inclusive, equitable, and ethically conscious. Ultimately, we hope to begin a critical conversation about the two technologies by thinking about the sites of consequence, contestation, and possibilities in the designed cultures, systems, experiences, processes, and artifacts of schooling.