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RE: [xmca] Learning Sciences / Science of Education
I'm co-PI on a grant to replicate the University of Texas secondary
teacher education program, which is largely focused on the learning
sciences literature. This semester, I'm teaching an intro course,
Knowing and Learning, that uses How People Learn as its main text, and
presents the orthodoxy of production systems as the organizing framework
for thinking about learning and teaching--at the same time extolling the
need for group work, project based instruction, and the like. What
becomes increasingly clear as I go through the literature is the
hegemonic character of the learning sciences, at least in relation to
educational matters. The insights into learning extolled in the
literature derive in large part from Piagetian constructivist research
and from Vygotskyan sociocultural research. So the text is largely a
promissory note for how a cognitive science approach encompasses all of
these rich traditions, whereas inspecting the actual contribution of
cognitive science research leads to little more than an unpacking of how
skills develop through repetitive practice.
The sociological process of hegemonic discourse is itself an interest of
mine at this time. I'm recalling our discussion of a couple of years ago
about the possibility of a new edition of our situated cognition reader
organized as a response to the dissipation of situative perspectives
within the learning sciences. I'm increasingly interested in
understanding that process.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
On Behalf Of Tony Whitson
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 3:07 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [xmca] Learning Sciences / Science of Education
This is something that I'm very interested in. I'm planning a paper for
narrow audience this winter, and a more ambitious paper for a wide
audience in Winter 2011. If others would be interested in a 2011 AERA
symposium, let's talk.
I'll see if I can put together a post tonight with some fragments &
bibliography that people might be interested in.
Meanwhile, I think there is a short answer, which of course is not the
I think a good deal of the impetus behind "Learning Sciences" comes from
the political hostility to Education faculty in favor of positive(istic)
psychology, as in Reid Lyons' statement that "If there was any piece of
legislation that I could pass, it would be to blow up colleges of
This has created an environment in which an Educational Psychologist
John Bransford, for example) would lose out in the funding for
to a Learning Scientist (like John Bransford, for example).
Folks in Seattle, Nashville, etc. see little cost in a name change that
keeps the dollars flowing. I'm not concerned about the name change, so
much, but I have continuing concerns about the enterprise in general.
On Tue, 15 Sep 2009, Mike Cole wrote:
> Thanks Em-- And I googled Goswami neuromyths. Also very enlightening.
> Goswami did early work with Ann Brown, former collaborator with us at
> Now if we go back a step and look at the people who created the label
> learning sciences, and their backgrounds, the shift from
> psychology" to developmental sciences, the appearance recently of the
> handbook of cultural developmental science, ......... what a tempest!
> be a teapot in there somewhere. Simultaneous, fractilated paradigm
> Does anyone have the luxury of being able to organize a science
> interrogation of these movements? Seems really worthwhile.
> On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 12:16 PM, Duvall, Emily <email@example.com>
>> Thanks Mike... :-)
>> In general I like Goswami's work; I find her discussion of
>> neuromyths compelling and have had my grad students do additional
>> research on some of them. I am also particularly interested in ways
>> try to negotiate across different fields. I've attached my favorite
>> Goswami and a nice intro to neuroeducation.
>> As a side note: Monica (Hansen, who frequently shows up on the
>> list serve and is one of my doc students) and I took a neuroscience
>> journal club/ seminar last spring and found ourselves trying to make
>> sense of the work that is done with regard to education. We are
>> another seminar right now and some of the folks who were in last
>> class are presenting journal articles in their field, but are trying
>> make the links to human experience, particularly education. It's been
>> interesting to discover how open minded the students and faculty
>> one of the computational neuroscience faculty has taken up some
>> reading as well as neuroeducation... of course Luria's work is a door
>> opener and a point of mutual interest.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> On Behalf Of Mike Cole
>> Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 9:41 AM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] Neuroscience connections to learning and
>> No one picked up on your interest in neuroeducation, Emily. A lot of
>> what I
>> read in this area strikes me as almost entirely without any
>> education, or human experience, as a culturally mediated,
>> process. Do you have a favorite general ref you could point us to
>> resonate to??
>> On Sun, Sep 13, 2009 at 8:50 AM, Duvall, Emily <email@example.com>
>>> I thought some of you might one or both of these article summaries
>>> interesting. The first really speaks to the new field of
>>> with regard to cellular learning... the nice thing about the summary
>>> it gives you an overview of learning at the cellular basis... very
>>> and easy to understand. Plus an introduction to astrocytes... :-)
>>> The second piece actually discusses re-learning, which has been a
>>> What I personally find so interesting is the role of experience in
>>> learning and relearning... I found myself thinking back to Shirley
>>> Heath's work... it would be fun to go back to her work and look at
>>> study through a neuroeducation lens.
>>> 1. Star-shaped Cells In Brain Help With Learning
>>> Every movement and every thought requires the passing of specific
>>> information between networks of nerve cells. To improve a skill or
>>> learn something new entails more efficient or a greater number of
>>> contacts. Scientists can now show that certain cells in the brain --
>>> astrocytes -- actively influence this information exchange.
>>> 2. Forgotten But Not Gone: How The Brain Re-learns
>>> Thanks to our ability to learn and to remember, we can perform tasks
>>> that other living things can not even dream of. However, we are only
>>> just beginning to get the gist of what really goes on in the brain
>>> it learns or forgets something. What we do know is that changes in
>>> contacts between nerve cells play an important role. But can these
>>> structural changes account for that well-known phenomenon that it is
>>> much easier to re-learn something that was forgotten than to learn
>>> something completely new?
>>> Emily Duvall, PhD
>>> Assistant Professor Curriculum & Instruction
>>> University of Idaho, Coeur d'Alene
>>> 1000 W. Hubbard Suite 242 | Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
>>> T 208 292 2512 | F 208 667 5275 firstname.lastname@example.org |
>>> He only earns his freedom and his life, who takes them every day by
>>> -- Johann Wolfgang Goethe
>>> xmca mailing list
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"those who fail to reread
are obliged to read the same story everywhere"
-- Roland Barthes, S/Z (1970)
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