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International Society of the Learning Sciences

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This paper reports on a study of the dynamics of a Research-Practice Partnership (RPP) oriented around design, specifically the co-design model. The RPP is focused on supporting elementary school computer science (CS) instruction by involving paraprofessional educators and teachers in curricular co-design. A problem of practice addressed is that few elementary educators have backgrounds in teaching CS and have limited available instructional time and budget for CS. The co-design strategy entailed highlighting CS concepts in the mathematics curriculum during classroom instruction and designing computer lab lessons that explored related ideas through programming. Analyses focused on tensions within RPP interaction dynamics and how they were accommodated when RPP partners were designing for co-design activities, a critical component that leads to curricular co-design itself. We illustrate these tensions with examples of clusters of activity that appeared repeatedly among the research and practice team members when "designing for co-design".