Ramping Up for ICLS 2014

The 11th International Conference of the Learning Sciences will be held June 23-27, 2014, at the University of Colorado Boulder. The theme of ICLS 2014 is “Learning and Becoming in Practice.” By focusing on learning and becoming, the conference aims to foreground the ways that learning entails becoming a certain kind of person. By focusing on learning and becoming in practice, it aims to foreground the ways that learning processes are situated within different kinds of practices. Three kinds of practices encompass a range of contexts and processes in which people learn: by engaging in the epistemic practices of disciplines, by participating in sociocultural practices, and by engaging in design. Two additional practices we highlight pertain to how we organize our own work as learning scientists: the practices for analyzing and modeling learning across settings and time and the practices for designing for scale and sustainability.

The focus on practices is a natural one for the field. The call for conducting design experiments grew in part from a perception that findings generated in laboratory studies of cognition were too distal from real learning in practice. Design researchers take a deeply pragmatic stance toward research on learning, seeking to generate insights from studying learning in situ or in vivo. People who collaborated within key institutions in the history of the learning sciences—such as the Institute for Research on Learning and Xerox PARC—were key to developing the rich and generative theoretical accounts of learning in practice. This theme supports dialogue around this particular vision, both because we recognize that scholars in our community take up different stances regarding essential elements of learning sciences and because we want to provide opportunities for them to shape, elaborate, and contest this vision.

There will four keynote sessions at ICLS 2014, all organized around the theme of Learning and Becoming in Practice. These will include a session with Jean Lave, in conversation with Rogers Hall; a lecture by Geoffrey Bowker; a session featuring Megan Bang and Paul Cobb in conversation with Kris Gutiérrez around issues of conducting research with community collaborators; and a session on Approaches to Studying and Modeling Learning Across Setting and Time, moderated by Roy Pea and featuring Rich Lehrer, Leona Schauble, Anna Sfard, Reed Stevens, Beth Warren, and Marianne Wiser.

The deadline for paper, poster, and symposium proposals is November 8, 2013. More information is available at the conference website at http://www.isls.org/icls2014/index.htm

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