International Society of the Learning Sciences

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The International Society of the Learning Sciences [1] is a professional society dedicated to the interdisciplinary empirical investigation of learning as it exists in real-world settings and how learning may be facilitated both with and without technology. Learning sciences research explores the nature and conditions of learning as it occurs in educational environments, broadly construed.

The field draws upon multiple theoretical perspectives and research paradigms to understand the complexities associated with human learning, cognition, and development. Researchers in the interdisciplinary field of learning sciences, born during the 1990s, study learning as it happens in real-life situations and how to better facilitate learning in designed environments – in school, online, in the workplace, at home, and in informal environments. Learning sciences research is guided by constructivist, social-constructivist, socio-cognitive, and socio-cultural theories of learning.[2]

The society is widely interdisciplinary and includes members from cognitive science, educational psychology, computer science, anthropology, sociology, information sciences, neurosciences, education, design studies, instructional design, and other fields; it is related to but distinct from the field of educational technology.[3] Currently the society includes members from six continents and hosts conferences globally.

The International Society of the Learning Sciences, incorporated as a non-profit professional society in September, 2002, unites the traditions started by the Journal of the Learning Sciences,[4] the International Conferences of the Learning Sciences (ICLS),[5] and the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference (CSCL) [6][7] and offers publications, conferences, and educational programs to the community of researchers and practitioners who use cognitive, socio-cognitive, and socio-cultural approaches to studying learning in real-world situations and designing environments, software, materials, and other innovations that promote deep and lasting learning. In 2004, the ISLS-sponsored Journal of the Learning Sciences was listed as the highest-impact journal in education and educational research by the ISI Journal Citation Reports Social Science Edition. In the 2009 edition, the ISLS-sponsored International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning was ranked second highest impact journal in education and educational research.[8]

Past presidents[edit]

Past presidents include notable scholars from the field, including three members of the US National Academy of Education and five Fellows of the American Educational Research Association.


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  2. ^ Sawyer, R. Keith, ed. (2006). Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521607773. 
  3. ^ Hoadley, Christopher (2004). "Learning and design: Why the learning sciences and instructional systems need each other". Educational Technology. 44 (3): 6–12. 
  4. ^ Journal of the Learning Sciences
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Stahl, G.; Koschmann, T.; Suthers, D. (2006). "Computer-supported collaborative learning: A historical perspective". In Sawyer, R. Keith. Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 406–427. ISBN 978-0521607773. 
  8. ^ Institute for Scientific Information. ISI Journal Citation Reports, Social Science Edition. Philadelphia: Thompson Reuters.