LRSC 500: INTRODUCTION TO LEARNING SCIENCES
An examination of key theoretical and empirical studies about how people learn, focusing on the design of learning environments and implications for instruction. The course explores relationships among what is learned, how it is learned, and how learning is demonstrated, and looks at possible roles for technology in supporting contemporary approaches to instruction, learning, and assessment. The syllabus includes research on learning in traditional academic domains (e.g., mathematics, science, literature, history) as well as on the everyday learning of children and adults. Using sociocultural, cognitive, and design-based research lenses, the seminar examines teaching and learning from several research perspectives.
LRSC 501: RESEARCH METHODS
This course is focused on understanding the components of scientific arguments as they apply to the diverse research problems that characterize the Learning Sciences. It includes analysis of the components of a scientific argument, development of a research question, and the appropriateness of different research designs for approaching varying questions about learning and learners. Special consideration is given to: (a) understanding the interplay between the design process and the research process in the emergent field of “design experiments” and (b) the influence of micro and macro policy contexts on the framing and execution of research agendas on learning. The course establishes a familiarity with issues of Research Process – being about evidence, warrants, purposes, objectivity and subjectivity and narratives. It should expose students to relevant concepts, terminology, and a menu of methodologies, making them aware of the range of tools and types of data for a variety of approaches to research.
LRSC 503: FOUNDATIONS OF SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY
The purpose of this course is to deepen understanding of the philosophical foundations of scientific inquiry and how such inquiry relates to teaching and learning processes when “inquiry methods” are used in classrooms. The course complements research methods courses as well as courses in teaching and learning theory. Major topics include: The Inquiry Universe, Inquiry in Science, Inquiry in the Classroom, Socializing Inquiry, Assessing Inquiry.
LRSC 511: ANALYSIS OF TEACHING AND LEARNING INTERACTIONS
This course focuses on the analysis of data gathered for the purpose of studying learning processes. It focuses on the processes that occur between data gathering and the confirmation of findings – i.e., the processes of making sense of complex sets of data that have already been gathered. This course is focused on the work of managing, re-representing, and becoming familiar with data during the analysis process. We focus on qualitative analyses, using grounded theory as a primary lens for understanding the process of developing an emergent conceptual framework. Theoretical issues explored in this course will be considered in the context of actual ongoing analyses of data.
LRSC 512: DESIGN OF LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
In this course, students study the design and evaluation of formal and informal learning environments from four perspectives: learner-centered, knowledge-centered, assessment-centered, and community-centered. Learning environments range from classroom to after-school, home, and museum. Special emphasis is placed on the role of technology.
LRSC 513: CHANGE IN INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS
This course examines the relationships between processes of individual learning and change and processes of organizational learning and change. The course focuses on theoretical and empirical work on core principles of change, including forms of leadership, individuals as agents of change within organizations, organizational properties that foster or impede change, and implications for innovation and sustainability of innovation. Of particular interest are organizational mechanisms that support individual change, and how these are sustained over time as well as changes in the upper levels of organizational management.
LRSC 540: JOURNAL CLUB
The content and focus of the course is linked to the Learning Sciences Research Institute speaker series. After preparing by reading journal articles by the invited speakers, students have the opportunity to have lunch with each speaker and then to attend the speaker’s public research presentation.
The primary purpose of this course is to build a learning community in which students can develop a greater sense of themselves as professionals, joining a community of practice that shares norms, specialized knowledge, and ethical commitments. This happens through reading and discussing of journal articles.