Tag Archives: learning sciences

It’s time for the Learning Sciences to embrace queer & trans* theory.

IDK if you knew that I have a PhD in Education. More specifically, my PhD came from a Learning Sciences program, so I’m technically a learning scientist.

I have a very complicated and fraught relationship with the Learning Sciences–a field that has been extraordinarily slow to integrate the concerns of queer and trans* folk, and even slower to integrate queer and trans* theory–frameworks designed explicitly to account for and investigate queer and trans* concerns, experiences, and lives. Imagine being … Read more

wanna take online graduate courses in Learning Sciences, Media, & Technology?

Indiana University’s Learning Sciences Program has recently launched an online certificate program in Learning Sciences, Media, and Technology (LSMT). Below is a list of the spring courses that will be offered through this program, along with descriptions of each.

I’m a graduate student in the Learning Sciences Program at IU and have taken each of the courses listed below. I’ve found each one of them to be incredibly formative and useful in my own development as an educator and learning … Read more

neutral as in ‘Grandpa’s arsenal,’ not as in ‘Switzerland’

Image by Joe Salmon, taken from http://www.uiiu.co.nz/neutral.html, sort of without permission so I hope he's ok with it.

I’m a fist-shaking, bleeding-heart, critical pedagogy, politiciany sort of guy. I believe that it’s useless and even potentially damaging to treat learning as apolitical, and I believe that learning theorists of all political bents do themselves a disservice and learners an injustice when they assert an ideologically neutral stance. Because there is no such thing as an ideologically neutral stance.

  • We may
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how Jim Gee and I soothe our guilty consciences

In the video below of a presentation to the Education Writers Association 2010 Annual Conference, Jim Gee says this about how to introduce innovative ideas into education:

There’s a choice of strategies here…. One strategy is: Let’s take our innovations to the center of the school system and spread them as fast and quickly as we can. People believe that this current school system as it is will just co-opt those innovations and make them … just better ways to
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a model for designing the ELA classroom in support of “literacy science”

You guys, I think I have a model to show you.

This makes me extremely happy, because as I’ve explained (more than once), I’ve struggled mightily with the very concept of modeling. I’ve also struggled with representation. The purpose of designing this model is to show my take on the role of new technologies in educational environments. But articulating a theory, even a working theory, about the role of technologies has been such an insurmountable challenge for me–which … Read more

on conceptual models, native competence, and (not) learning to play rugby

I had the deeply unsettling experience recently of feeling like the stupidest person in the room. This type of experience is (both fortunately and unfortunately) fairly rare for the typical educational researcher, though it’s far more common for members of the learning communities researchers study. For this reason, I believe it’s incredibly important for researchers to examine the contexts that make them feel stupid, if only so they can better understand the groups they’re studying.

The context was a graduate-level … Read more

“Math class is tough!” a few thoughts on a problematic metaphor for learning

Academics, and especially academics who think about culture (which is to say, more or less, all academics), seem to really like metaphors and similes. Here’s one that made me mad this week.

Jim Greeno: Learning how to participate is like being in a kitchen.
Situativity theorist Jim Greeno, in “Number Sense as Situated Knowing in a Conceptual Domain,” considers how people develop conceptual models for participating in disciplinary communities (what he calls “conceptual environments”). He explains that

knowing how to
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technologies as sleeping policemen: or, how I learned to stop worrying and…

Nicholas Burbules and Thomas Callister worry for us. Or, at least, they were worried, over 10 years ago when they offered up their take on new technologies in a paper called The Risky Promises and Promising Risks of New Information Technologies for Education. Among their concerns: that too many people adopt a “computer as panacea approach” to new technologies. This is uniquely problematic in education, they argue, where

(r)ather than acknowledge the inherent difficulty and imperfectability of the teaching-learning endeavor,
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