Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Educational Technology & Society


As big data algorithm usage becomes more ubiquitous, it will become critical for all young people, particularly those from historically marginalized populations, to have a deep understanding of data science that empowers them to enact change in their local communities and globally. In this study, we explore the concept of critical machine learning: integrating machine learning knowledge content with social, ethical, and political effects of algorithms. We modified an intergenerational participatory design approach known as cooperative inquiry to co-design a critical machine learning educational program with and for youth ages 9 - 13 in two after-school centers in the southern United States. Analyzing data from cognitive interviews, observations, and learner artifacts, we describe the roles of children and researchers as meta-design partners. Our findings suggest that cooperative inquiry and meta-design are suitable frameworks for designing critical machine learning educational environments that reflect children’s interests and values. This approach may increase youth engagement around the social, ethical, and political implications of large-scale machine learning algorithm deployment.


Included in

Education Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.