International Society of the Learning Sciences

International Society of the Learning Sciences

The "International Society of the Learning Sciences" [] 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 in order to understand the complexities associated with human learning, cognition, and development. Researchers in the interdisciplinary field of learning sciences, born during the 1990’s, study learning as it happens in real-world 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 (Hoadley, 2004; Sawyer, 2006).

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. Currently the society includes members from six continents and provides unprecedented opportunities for collegial interaction across national boundaries in this field.

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" [] , the "International Conferences of the Learning Sciences" (ICLS) [] , and the "Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference" (CSCL; Stahl et al., 2006) [] and offers publications (e.g., Kolodner, 2005) 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.

The society is governed by a Board of Directors [] elected by the paid-up membership. Officers [] of the society include the President (chosen by the Board of Directors), Past-President, President-Elect, an Executive Officer, and a Financial Officer. Much of the work of the society is done by committees whose members are drawn from both the Board and the membership at large.


Hoadley, C. (2004). Learning and design: Why the learning sciences and instructional systems need each other. "Educational Technology, 44(3)", 6-12.

Kolodner, J. L. (2005). A note from the editor. "Journal of the Learning Sciences, 14," 1-3.

R. K. Sawyer (2006.), Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences. NY: Cambridge University Press.

Stahl, G., Koschmann, T., & Suthers, D. D. (2006). Computer-supported collaborative learning: A historical perspective. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. pp. 406-427). NY: Cambridge University Press.

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