Department of Educator Preparation, Innovation and Research

Dr. Ralph A. Córdova Jr. is an educational ethnographer and researcher; he is beginning his third decade as a teacher. He “grew up teaching” as a teacher-researcher in elementary bilingual Spanish/English settings in Santa Barbara, CA. During these early years, he collaborated long-term with Drs. Judith Green, Carol Dixon, Beth Yeager and Sheridan Blau, founders of the Center for Teaching for Social Justice at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). This shared work helped Córdova to draw on an interactional ethnographic perspectives and literary theories to conceive of formal learning places like classrooms, and, semi-formal places such as museums as cultural landscapes for learning. He has worked closely with the National Writing project across the past two decades in a variety of teacher-research roles, and studies first-hand how well-informed and action-oriented teacher-researchers are well suited as the best teachers of teachers.

Córdova earned his Ph.D. from the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UCSB in 2004 in Cultural Perspectives in Education. His research activities are located at the intersection where primary & second language and literacy development, collaborative professional learning, and, creativity and the arts overlap. And this nexus for studying interdisciplinary learning involves formal and informal learning settings such as schools and museums. He studies how these interdisciplinary discourse communities become places where participants learn to explicitly co-construct particular shared learning spaces. Together, participants with diverse ways of knowing and being learn to draw on each other’s disciplinary-based knowledges to take action and innovate their teaching and learning practices.

In 2003 Córdova founded the Cultural Landscapes Collaboratory ( www.OurCoLab.org ), and in 2009, Drs. Córdova and Ann Taylor in collaboration with area teacher-researchers developed a practice-based theory of action called ResponsiveDesign www.OurCoLab.org . ResponsiveDesign is an innovation-centric problem-solving approach that draws on ethnographic principles of “deep diving” to explore the cultural worlds wherein particular problems are situated, envision and ideate radical solutions, and, enact those solutions at low levels of resolution in order to build to learn. National Writing Project sites, school districts and museum spaces are drawing on ResponsiveDesign to develop innovative approaches to their respective settings making them more learner and insight centered. ResponsiveDesign assists participants to harness interdisciplinary practices to become creatively confident problem-solvers and problem-seekers.

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e-mail

cordovar@umsl.edu

phone

(314) 516-5799

office

306 Marillac Hall

Dr. Ralph A. Córdova Jr. is an educational ethnographer and researcher. He “grew up teaching” as teacher-researcher in elementary bilingual Spanish/English settings in Santa Barbara, CA. During these early years, he collaborated long-term with Drs. Judith Green, Carol Dixon, Beth Yeager and Sheridan Blau, founders of the Center for Teaching for Social Justice at University of California Santa Barbara. This shared work helped Córdova to draw on an interactional ethnographic perspectives and literary theories to conceive of formal learning places like classrooms, and, semi-formal places such as museums as cultural landscapes for learning. He has worked closely with the National Writing project across the past two decades in a variety of teacher-research roles, and studies first-hand how well-informed and action-oriented teacher-researchers are well suited as the best teachers of teachers.

Córdova’s research activities are located at the intersection where language and literacy acquisition and development, collaborative professional learning, and, creativity and the arts overlap. And this nexus for studying interdisciplinary learning involves formal and informal learning settings such as schools and museums. He studies how these interdisciplinary communities become places where participants learn to explicitly co-construct particular shared learning spaces. Together, participants with diverse ways of knowing and being learn to draw on each other’s disciplinary-based knowledges to take action and innovate their teaching and learning practices.

In 2004 Córdova and Finnish colleague, Dr. Kristiina Kumpulainen, co-founded the Cultural Landscapes Collaboratory ( www.OurCoLab.org ), and in 2009, Drs. Córdova, Ann Taylor and area teacher-researchers developed a practice-based theory of action called ResponsiveDesign www.OurCoLab.org . ResponsiveDesign is an innovation-centric problem-solving approach that draws on ethnographic principles of “deep diving” to explore the cultural worlds wherein particular problems are situated, envision and ideate radical solutions, and, enact those solutions at low levels of resolution in order to build to learn. National Writing Project sites, school districts and museum spaces are drawing on ResponsiveDesign to develop innovative approaches to their respective settings making them more learner and insight centered. ResponsiveDesign assists participants to harness interdisciplinary practices to become creatively confident problem-solvers and problem-seekers.

 

Recent Publications and Papers Presented

Refereed Articles:

Córdova, R., Kumpulainen, K., & Hudson, J. (in press). Nurturing creativity and

professional learning for 21st century education: ResponsiveDesign and the

Cultural Landscapes Collaboratory. Learning Landscapes.

Murawski, M., Córdova, R. (2012). Sharing vision and transforming practice, in B.

Garcia, What we do best: Making the case for the museum learning in its own

right. The Journal of Museum Education 37(2), pp. 47-55.

Córdova, R., Murawski, M. (2010). Cultural landscapes for literacies learning: An

innovative art museum and teacher-research community partnership. The Missouri Reader 4(2), pp. 9-28.

Córdova, R., Matthiesen, A. (2010). Reading, writing and mapping our worlds into being: Shared teacher inquiries into whose literacies count. The Reading Teacher 63(6), pp. 452-463.

Córdova, R., Hudson, J., Swank, P., Matthiesen, A. & Bertels, M. (2009). Reclaiming and composing our professional lives: A young writing project learns a language of inquiry to establish, thicken and sustain its work. Scholarlypartnershipedu 4(2), pp. 23-37.

Córdova, R. (2008). Writing and painting our lives into being: Learning to see learning in the transformative spaces between school and home. Language Arts 86(1), pp. 18-27.

 

Book Chapers:

Green J., Skukauskaite, A., Dixon, C. & Córdova, R. (2007). Epistemological Issues in the Analysis of Video Records: Interactional Ethnography as a Logic of Inquiry. In R. Goldman, R. Pea, B. Barron & Derry (Eds.), Video Research in The Learning Sciences. Erlbaum Associates.

Yeager, E. & Córdova, R. (2010). How knowledge counts: Families and their lived experiences as resources for academic and social action. In M. Dantas P. Manyak, P. (Eds.), Home-School Connections in a Multicultural Society: Learning from and with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families. Routledge. Pp. 218-236.

 

 

Papers Presented

 

Invited National/Regional

Córdova, R. & Taylor, A. (2011). The CoLab: A prototyping community constructing cultures of creativity and innovation. Presentation given to Stanford University’s Hasso Platner School of Design, d.School. Stanford University. Palo Alto, CA.

Córdova, R. (2011). The CoLab is professionals developing professionals: Learning to see learning within and across cultural landscapes. Paper presented in Dr. Judith Green's Classrooms as Cultures graduate level course. University of California Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara, CA.

Córdova, R. (2011). 21st Century Schools and Professional Learning Communities as Problem-Solving Places with Prototyping Mindsets. Paper presented at South Coast Writing Project 33rd Annual Summer Institute in Composition and Critical Literacy. Santa Barbara, CA.

Córdova, R. (2010). Cultural Landscapes for Learning: Learning a Language of Inquiry. Paper presented at South Coast Writing Project 32nd Annual Summer Institute. Santa Barbara, CA.

Córdova, R. (2009). Annotated Maps of Our Neighborhoods: Storytelling, Writing and Cultural Relevance. Paper presented at the Maya-West Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute, University of Puerto Rico.

 

International (refereed)

Córdova, R. (2012). The CoLab: What happens when socio-linguistics holds hands with art & design. Keynote address given to NordLAC’s annual conference. University of Helsinki. Helsinki, Finland.

Murawski, M. & Córdova, R. (2012). From shared vision to transformative practice: A co-expertise approach to connecting museum, school, and university communities. International Conference on Museum Teaching: Inclusive Museum. University of the West Indies, Barbados, Barbados, West Indies.

Córdova, R., Taylor, A. & Swank, P. (2012). Learning to see learning-in-the-making: The CoLab’s human-centered & innovative-centric theory of action. Empowerment through Learning in a Global World Conference. H-STAR, SCOPE & CICERO-Learning, Stanford University.

Córdova, R. (2006). Video research methods for studying classroom life as cultures-in-the-making. Global CICERO-Learning Conference, University of Helsinki, Finland.

Kumpulainen, K. & Córdova, R. (2005). When and when is a school in the 21st century? An introduction to the cultural landscapes living as learning research collaborative. InterLearn – Multidisciplinary Approaches to Learning, Helsinki, Finland.

 

National (refereed)

Bates, B., Córdova, R., Mindlin, F., Ortiz, A., Rollag, S., Swank, P., & Taylor, A. (2012).

            ResponsiveDesign: Innovating to build partnerships and navigate site-based challenges. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Writing Project, Las Vegas, NV.

Córdova, R., Jung, D. Schon, N., Swank, P., Taylor, A.,  (2011). The CoLab is at the Intersection of Education and Design: ResponsiveDesign, a prototyping habit of  mind for professional and site development. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Writing Project, Chicago, IL.

Córdova, R., Greenlee, R., Hudson, J., Sellers, J., Swank, P., Taylor, A.,  (2010). Making practice in inquiry visible using WebDIVER. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Writing Project, Orlando, FL.

Córdova, R. & Hudson, J. (2010). Developing inquiring as a stance of practice within a young writing project site.  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.

Matthiesen, A. & Córdova, R. (2010). Learning to see learning in a community of teacher-researchers: digital video technology as mediator. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.

Córdova, R. & Parson, P. (2009). Making Local Teaching Knowledges Global Resources for Developing Professionally through Face-to-face and Digital Video Technologies. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.