Critical design ethnography: Designing for change

Sasha A. Barab, Michael K. Thomas, Tyler Dodge, Kurt Squire, Markeda Newell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


This article describes critical design ethnography, an ethnographic process involving participatory design work aimed at transforming a local context while producing an instructional design that can be used in multiple contexts. Here, we reflect on the opportunities and challenges that emerged as we built local critiques then reified them into a designed artifact that has been implemented in classrooms all over the world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-268
Number of pages15
JournalAnthropology and Education Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Action research
  • Critical ethnography
  • Instructional design
  • Participatory design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology


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