We mourn the passing of Jim Greeno, a giant in our field

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Jim Greeno, a pioneer in Learning Sciences. Jim was highly influential in advancing situative perspectives and had a tremendous influence on the field, both personally and professionally. Jim was a thinker and an enthusiastic wonderer. He was trained in the tradition of associationism, but was then a central and vocal participant in the Cognitive Revolution, which represented a field-wide shift towards a new way of thinking about learning, a change in attention to the mental processes that characterized human thought. As a cognitive theorist, Jim made multiple well respected contributions, and could have continued to make his mark on the field of Cognitive Science. But instead, his curiosity and openness led him to new and different conversations, to ask and consider other options. As co-founder of the Institute for Research in Learning (IRL), he participated in conversations with cultural psychologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and computer scientists, who together created another seismic shift in the field, developing a theory of learning called Situative Cognition. Jim was always careful in his use of that particular term, because, as he said, to refer to learning as “situated” implied that there were other types of learning that were NOT situated—a claim he came to fundamentally reject. Throughout his career Jim contributed to many academic communities, including Indiana University, the University of Michigan, The University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Although there are many reasons to remember him and many contributions that he made, perhaps one of his contributions that is most worthy of emulation was his delight in the enterprise of studying and trying to understand learning. He was curious and open and welcoming, and most importantly, did not seem to think that good ideas needed to come in particular packages—anyone was an interesting thought partner who had something to contribute. It is this expansiveness of thinking that characterized his trajectory through our field, and led to his many significant contributions. His family is putting together a book of remembrances; if you have something you wish to contribute, please reach out to Melissa Gresalfi at [email protected].

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