This article analyzes the role of Qwerty–an open and interdisciplinary journal of technology, culture, and education–in establishing a knowledge building community. By looking critically at the trends in work published as well the publication’s editorial mission, certain inferences emerge about the Learning Sciences as a discipline.
The observation driving the authors’ reflection is that learning scientists necessarily aim to operate as a design community. Their work this will be measured for its successfully solving problems and challenging assumptions, not by the quality of their research and empirical explanation of phenomena. Citing other academic disciplines, the authors claim that design communities must innovate and do so collaboratively if they wish to thrive.
By way of further reflection and discussion, the authors position Qwerty as a valuable alternative to other learning sciences journals where submissions adhere to a traditional model of “research reports plus reflection/argumentation.” For this reason, Qwerty considers design-relevant issues, criticism, and ideas that seem more at home in less scientific venues. If anything, a piece like this further solidifies the Learning Sciences as a comprehensive discipline because it is capable of acknowledging and empowering any variety of research practice.