dr-kieran-o-mahonyThe personalised learning environments that enhance and engage individuals in pursuit of their creative potential is an emerging theme that ignites Kieran’s career today. At the University of Washington, Kieran explores the settings and processes that are aligned with pedagogical, brain-based methodologies, which are instrumental in fostering deep understanding, prolonged engagement and collaborative outcomes that foster human development. Enriched experiences can change the learning trajectory and learning outcomes for individuals in environments that supply challenging resources for social mediation, mentoring and implementation in real-world scenarios.

A major educational intervention is ongoing in Kieran’s lab today. Together with The Boeing Company’s Aerospace Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering (AerosPACE), they have created an industry-academic collaborative learning environment in real-time with real-world challenges. The learning strategy implemented in this multi-user, multi-disciplinary platform attempts to push the envelope about meaningful knowledge acquisition, critical 21st century skills, and social networking so that new concepts, emergent innovations and break-through technologies are co-constructed by distributed and collaborative teams. “None of us are smart enough to engineer the future – it has to be done by all of us”.

Kieran’s other research interests involve socio-cultural perspectives on cognition, learning, graphical representation and use of technology in formal and informal learning environments. Kieran looks at the questions involving fluency in geo-literacy around consequential everyday issues and ‘sense of place.’ For this research he examines prevailing western worldviews of science that are constructed and derivative of Cartesian principles and philosophic underpinnings and compare them with other worldviews that take native and aboriginal account of the ways we view our relationship with the planet and with each other.