What do we teach when we teach the Learning Sciences? A document analysis of 75 graduate programs

Sommerhoff, Daniel, Szameitat, Andrea, Vogel, Freydis, Chernikova, Olga, Loderer, Kristina and Fischer, Frank (2018) What do we teach when we teach the Learning Sciences? A document analysis of 75 graduate programs. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 27 (2). pp. 319-351. ISSN 1050-8406

PDF (Open Access) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Available under Licence Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
Download (997kB) | Preview


The learning sciences, as an academic community investigating human learning, emerged more than 30 years ago. Since then, graduate learning sciences programs have been established worldwide. Little is currently known, however, about their disciplinary backgrounds and the topics and research methods they address. In this document analysis of the websites of 75 international graduate learning sciences programs, we examine central concepts and research methods across institutions, compare the programs, and assess the homogeneity of different subgroups. Results reveal that the concepts addressed most frequently were real-world learning in formal and informal contexts, designing learning environments, cognition and metacognition, and using technology to support learning. Among research methods, design-based research (DBR), discourse and dialog analyses, and basic statistics stand out. Results show substantial differences between programs, yet programs focusing on DBR show the greatest similarity regarding the other concepts and methods they teach. Interpreting the similarity of the graduate programs using a community of practice perspective, there is a set of relatively coherent programs at the core of the learning sciences, pointing to the emergence of a discipline, and a variety of multidisciplinary and more heterogeneous programs “orbiting” the core in the periphery, shaping and innovating the field.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/10508406.2018.1440353
Depositing User: Vogel, Freydis
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2018 12:25
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 11:30
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/52659

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View