As a researcher, I explore what and how people learn through creative production in both formal and informal learning settings. In particular, I investigate how cultural contexts (ranging from informal music communities to math classrooms) both produce and restrict different types of curricula, pedagogies, and knowledge. While extant research shows that creative production holds the potential to empower individuals, the unexamined cultural forces within formal and informal curricula often reproduce systemic forms of oppression.

Through my research practice, I have found that investigating the historical and cultural contexts surrounding creative production demands a critical and interdisciplinary approach. In response, my work draws equally from curriculum studies, the learning sciences, cultural studies, art education research, and visual cultures. I approach this work through a number of philosophical lenses including poststructuralism, posthumanism, critical race theory, and feminist theory and draw from a variety of methodological standpoints including ethnography, design-based research, text analysis, object studies, and arts-based research. Findings from this work reveal unexplored, unique, and culturally situated ways of knowing and learning embedded within networks of interconnected and agentic actors (ranging from teachers and students to technologies, environments, and historical forces).

Recent Refereed Journal Articles

Woods, P. J. (2022). Learning to make noise: Toward a process model of artistic practice within experimental music scenes. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 1–17.

Woods, P. J. (2022). Aesthetics in the Eugenics Movement: A Critical Examination. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 56(2), 56–77.

Woods, P. J. (2021). Moving the Show Online: An Analysis of DIY Virtual Venues. Popular Culture Studies Journal. 9(2), 159-177.

Woods, P. J. (2021). Reimagining collaboration through the lens of the posthuman: Uncovering embodied learning in noise music. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 18(1), 45–65.

Adami, P., Rodrigues, P. B., Woods, P. J., Becerik-Gerber, B., Soibelman, L., Copur-Gencturk, Y., & Lucas, G. (2021). Effectiveness of VR-based Training on Improving Construction Workers’ Knowledge, Skills, and Safety Behavior in Robotic Operations. Advanced Engineering Infomatics, 50(2021), 1-15.

Recent Refereed Conference Papers

Woods, P. J., Copur-Gencturk, Y., & Atabas, S. (2022). Analyzing the Influence of Student Problem Solving Approaches on Learning Through Teaching in Mathematics Education. In Proceedings of the 2022 Annual Meeting of the International Society of the Learning Sciences. (p. 893-896).

Desportes, K., Vacca, R., Tes, M., Woods, P. J., Matuk, C., Amato, A., & Silander, M., (2022). Dancing with Data: Embodying the Numerical and Humanistic Sides of Data. In Proceedings of the 2022 Annual Meeting of the International Society of the Learning Sciences. (p. 305-312).

Vacca, R., DesPortes, K., Tes, M., Silander, M., Matuk, C., Amato, A., & Woods, P. J. (2022). “I happen to be one of 47.8%“: Social-Emotional and Data Reasoning in Middle School Students’ Comics about Friendship. In Proceedings of the 2022 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. (p. 1-18).

Woods, P. J., & Jones, K. (2020). Expanding the Borders of Music-Based Qualitative Research Methods Through Graphic Scores. In Proceedings of the 2020 International Conference of the Learning Sciences (pp. 1063-1070).

Woods, P. J. (2020). Towards a Noisier Constructionism: Reimagining Experimental Music as Learning Context. In Proceedings of the 2020 Constructionism Conference (pp. 575-583).

Woods, P. J. (2019) (Re)making Whiteness: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Equity-Based Maker Literature. In Proceedings of the 2019 Connected Learning Summit (pp. 189-197).


Woods, P. J. (2020). Learning in and through Noise: Exploring the Learning Ecologies of Experimental Music [Ph.D., The University of Wisconsin – Madison]. In ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (2451165539). Dissertations & Theses @ CIC Institutions; Dissertations & Theses @ University of Wisconsin at Madison; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

I also did a presentation of some of my dissertation work at NYU. You can find the video here:

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