This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Sustainable Design for Primary Grade Students in Latin America to Leapfrog into the Twenty-First Century for Economic Development




Haynes, Donna

Type of Degree



Industrial Design


Research has shown that the education of primary grade students in Latin American countries is crucial to their economic growth. Although enrollment gains each year and most Latin American countries boast of literacy rates in the ninetieth percentile, education is substandard; repetition rates are high and expensive, and statistics are not accurate. While technology --Y΄leapfrogs‘ into developing countries by creating Internet connections where even landlines for telecommunications have not been established; business turns toward P.K. Prahalad’s well-received book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid that examines the Third World as an emerging market. Meanwhile, designer a can meet the challenge of problem solving for human factors politically, socially, culturally, economically and sustainably. This thesis examines the reasons and methods used for developing an electronic textbook designed for Latin American primary grade students. It will outline a system for improved education through technology and product design where electronic textbooks can enhance the learning experience, track results, and reduce waste and distribution problems. Components are condensed to reduce gratuitous functions in favor of durability and decrease the added cost of production. Interactive and adaptable modular lessons reduce the repetition rate of students by including a skill assessment, in which, the results are monitored by a central database for a systematic and accurate tracking. Full development allow teachers to modify lessons for their regional needs as well as reducing the training of teachers for students who attend multi-grade classrooms or are unable to attend school at all. Though developed for underprivileged grade school children in Latin America, the platform can extend to primary grade students worldwide, home-schooled children and illiterate adults.