Founded in 2007, the Learning Sciences Research Institute at The University of Illinois, Chicago has become a center for interdisciplinary research and study, boasting a dually appointed faculty who draw on research traditions from chemistry, psychology, mathematics, urban studies, history and more. We have a large number of productive collaborations with Chicago schools, but our work also extends to museums, zoos, concert halls and anywhere else that learning happens.

The Learning Sciences Research Institute houses the UIC Learning Sciences PhD program. Students in the program learn the theories and research methodologies associated with learning sciences. After completing the five-year doctoral program, PhD students are well-positioned for placement in the job market. The majority are given the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience, working directly with faculty on externally funded, multi-year research projects that investigate learning both in and out of the classroom.

Profile Stories

The design of the Developing Organizational Capacity to Improve K-8 Mathematics Teaching and Learning grant is such that we can understand the conditions under which multi-level (teachers, school and district administrators) professional development coupled with a district-led DBIR process can enhance organizational capacity to engage in instructional improvement in mathematics.

-- Dr. Alison Castro Superfine  |  on her new NSF grant.


computer screen
Multiple computers serve as "peepholes" into the walls of the classroom to view an imaginary ecosystem with virtual flora and fauna. The students conduct investigations and make claims about different species, their classification, their habitats, and their mutual relationships.
Professor Josh Radinsky
Dr. Radinsky uses data maps and other visualization tools to help people talk about social phenomena like change over time, race and racism, narrative and identity. He has received grants from the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities and served as Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of the Learning Sciences from 2013-2016.
Recent graduate Allison Hall
Recent graduate ALLISON HALL talks about the LS graduate program.
Dr. Hall is currently co-teaching one of LSRI's core courses and working with Susan Goldman and Alison Castro Superfine on the project "How Teachers Learn: Orchestrating Disciplinary Discourse in Science, Literature, and Mathematics Classrooms."
graduate students
Photo taken at Northwestern during the conference. Also pictured: Na'ilah Nasir of the Spencer Foundation.
current students
Diksha and Krystal in front of their poster at the Learning Sciences Graduate Student Conference in Nashville.
Dr. Mike Stieff
Dr. MIKE STIEFF's Connected Chemistry Curriculum
"We're changing the way kids think about chemistry."