Powerful learning at SEA

Toward a designerly theory of powerful learning systems

  • Gordon Rowland Ithaca College
  • Allison L. Kitchen-Meyer Arizona State University


The Sea Education Association (SEA) has an international reputation for creating powerful learning experiences in semester-long programs that involve conducting scientific research while sailing tall ships. To what extent, how and why these experiences occur was studied through interviews, extant data analysis, and participant observation of the SEA Semester program Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. Themes consistent with past studies of powerful learning emerged, for example, authenticity, openness, relationships with others, and intense engagement, while outcomes continued to be highly individual. Relationships among these themes point toward complexity, design, and systemic design and suggest seeds of a theory of powerful learning systems. 


Gordon Rowland, Ithaca College

Professor of Communications

Roy H. Park School of Communications

Ithaca College

Ithaca, New York, 14850


Hvordan referere
Rowland, G., & Kitchen-Meyer, A. L. (2018). Powerful learning at SEA. FormAkademisk - forskningstidsskrift for design og designdidaktikk, 11(4). https://doi.org/10.7577/formakademisk.2004