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Building an interdisciplinary community of research around the learning sciences

The scientific objective of this seminar is to build reflection in France on the Sciences de l’apprendre, both by seeking inspiration within the Learning Sciences and by positioning French research in relation to it. The first part of our reflection stems from the observation that much of the research in cognitive science and cognitive psychology focuses on understanding and explaining learning.

Many of these studies, also oriented to educational science, center on teachers’ professional practices. But the relations between teaching and learning are not as often studied, per se. In this perspective, we aim to systematically study these relations, through a variety of contexts and target domains, in both formal and informal teaching-learning situations.

We will establish a cartographic representation of models in relation to teaching and learning and we will review the analysis methods that show the effects of teaching on learning. We therefore aim to contribute to a paradigm of the Learning Sciences that not only includes reflecting on teaching and learning, but also reflection on creating the conditions for learning. The second part of our reflection will focus on Design-Based Research Methods or Didactical Engineering, methods that are naturally centered on the conditions necessary for learning and the relations between teaching and learning. This focus presupposes a closer look at technologies and how their integration in a pedagogical context influences learning.

One of our directions of investigation will explore to what extent the measure of learning and the comprehension and explanation of conditions for learning requires a mixed-methods approach, beyond and above the traditional opposition of qualitative and quantitative approaches. In the third part of our reflection, we will attempt to link a systematic description of the relations between teaching and learning to the study of how learning is dependent upon teaching. Evidence Based Research will aid us in this objective as it focuses on the effects of teaching on learning. Questioning Evidence Based Policy in this same way will give us a framework to reflect upon the relations between research, practice and educational policies.

Our seminar will be conducted in a highly interdisciplinary manner. As conditions for learning also depend upon socially constructed practices outside of educational contexts, we must reflect on how family practices can transform school practices and more generally, in what ways the socio-economic and cultural milieux (internet, video games, potentially educational social practices) contribute to educational practices.

This international Institut Français de l’Education seminar has therefore the ambition to contribute to enriching the current paradigms for the Learning Sciences. We aim to create an international venue for pioneering research focusing on creating the conditions for learning and teaching. This seminar is principally aimed at experienced researchers and requires their active participation, but also concerns doctoral students and early career researchers. In this way, we aim to also contribute to building an interdisciplinary community of researchers around the Learning Sciences

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