Nathan, M. J., & Sawyer, R. K. (2014). Foundations of the learning sciences. In R. K. Sawyer, (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (2nd ed., pp. 21-43). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.


Nathan and Sawyer base the foundations of Learning Sciences (LS) in a joint preoccupation with research and practice. The “ideal progress” for LS projects, they recommend, is the iterative design and redesign of interventions based on real-world implementation and evaluation. Doing so should produce broader theories and more reliable models for explaining human learning. The authors proceed to contextualize LS in the traditions of scientific, constructivist, sociocultural, pragmatic, elemental, and systemic approaches to research and analysis. Conclusively, the schools of thought that fund LS come together to regard learning as most effective when learners find the agency to ground novel experiences or ideas in practical, collaborative, and reflective applications.

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