Foundations And Opportunities For An Interdisciplinary Science Of Learning


Bransford, J. D., Barron, B., Pea, R. D., Meltzoff, A., Kuhl, P., Bell, P., Stevens, R., Schwartz, D. L., Vye, N., Reeves, B., Roschelle, R., & Sabelli, N. (2005). Foundations and opportunities for an interdisciplinary science of learning. In. R. K. Sawyer (Ed.) The Cambridge Handbook of The Learning Sciences (pp. 19-34). Cambridge University Press.


In this chapter, we argue that the learning sciences are poised for a “decade of synergy.” We focus on several key traditions of theory and research with the potential for mutually influencing one another in ways that can transform how we think about the science of learning, as well as how future educators and scientists are trained.

The three major strands of research are: (1) implicit learning and the brain, (2) informal learning, and (3) designs for formal learning and beyond. As Figure 1A illustrates, these three areas have mainly operated independently, with researchers attempting to apply their thinking and findings directly to education, and with the links between theory and well-grounded implications for practice often proving tenuous at best.

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