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COEHD partnership with DoSeum to showcase education research

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The UTSA College of Education and Human Development’s Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching (ILT) is bringing education research to the community through a partnership with the DoSeum, the children’s museum in San Antonio. 

The partnership, which brings together local families, DoSeum staff, and ILT students and faculty, is part of the National Living Laboratory initiative that aims to make research accessible by educating the community about what education research is, how it is conducted, and why it is beneficial.

“The hope is that with this research, there is a constant connection between the college and the DoSeum,” said Dr. Zaid Haddad, ILT assistant professor. “The DoSeum serves as a place where our students are able to learn and where the families are able to learn about research. It also serves as a tool for our doctoral students to get their hands dirty and answer their own questions through research.”


“Our partnership allows us to more powerfully live out our core competencies of being a resource, convener, and laboratory for kids, their caregivers, and local educators,” said Ryan Smith, vice president for education at the DoSeum and UTSA alumnus. “The Living Laboratory partnership, in particular, allows us to provide resources to child caregivers by sharing research with them on early learning that they can apply to their work with their child or children.”

At the DoSeum, the Living Laboratory site is called Rowdy’s House. For four weeks this semester, ILT faculty and students will conduct two pilot studies concurrently in Rowdy’s House. The first of the two studies will focus on understanding how children work and play in pairs. The second study will look at gender and toy selection.


The results from the pilot studies will be shared with the DoSeum education staff, the college, and the community.

“At the end of this all, we are hoping to publish our research and bring our students into the publication process as coauthors,” said Haddad. “We really want to show others that the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching is doing important research.”

In the future, the department, Haddad said, hopes to continue to develop and conduct innovative research studies on early childhood education for Rowdy’s House through the DoSeum partnership.

“What excites me and us most, though, is the benefit our partnership will have to the local community’s kids, families, and educators,” said Smith. “The DoSeum aims to be, and are becoming, a premier educational resource in the local, state, and national learning landscape. With UTSA’s commitment to being a tier one university, and with the talent and thought leadership at the COEHD, we believe that we can offer truly essential resources for kids, families, and educators by engaging in work together.”

For more information about the DoSeum, visit their website.

For more information about the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, visit their website.

Photos courtesy of Dr. Zaid Haddad. Pictured above are Giana De Leon (MaED in C&I student and Discovery Leader at the DoSeum, employee) and Jaime Douglas (MaED in C&I student).

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UTSA College of Education and Human Development

Phone: 210-458-4370