LSRI was established in March of 2007 by merging the Institute for Mathematics and Science Education and the Center for the Study of Learning, Instruction, and Teacher Development. LSRI has brought together a group of UIC researchers from three colleges (Liberal Arts and Sciences, Education, and Engineering) and over a dozen academic departments in an interdisciplinary program of research in the learning sciences and a commitment to improving the quality of teaching and learning at UIC. The Illinois Board of Higher Education-approved Institute has sought to serve as a crucible for new partnerships and multidisciplinary attacks on the hard, systemic problems of learning that impact our society.
In August of 2007, the Illinois Board of Higher Education approved the establishment of a new interdisciplinary UIC PhD program in the Learning Sciences. Only the third in the nation at that time, its specific focus is on the education of a new generation of researchers with dual expertise in the science of learning and disciplinary focus of their choosing.
During its first decade, LSRI’s faculty: (a) graduated more than 18 learning sciences PhDs, (b) generated significant external research funding, (C) made UIC the editorial home to the top journal in the field (Journal of the Learning Sciences), (d) hosted the top international conference in the field in 2010, (e) engaged in collaborative research and development projects with colleagues at major universities and research institutes across the country, (f) provided hundreds of professional development opportunities for educators from Chicago Public Schools and other local school districts, and (g) sponsored the first-ever Learning Sciences Graduate Student Conference, attended by 80 students from institutions across the United States.
LSRI was founded on a principle of active engagement and research collaborations with schools, districts, community organizations, informal learning environments, and higher education institutions. We see our contributions in education research, development, and outreach continuing forward.