Science lab

Learning Sciences

Learning is more than just memorizing facts.

Our lab seeks to advance the scientific understanding of teaching and learning by thoughtfully inquiring into the relationships between content, students, teachers, and the context in which learning operates. We focus our work along two interrelated strands of research — design and cognition — and investigate questions related to the structures and processes of learning. We also investigate the sociocultural dynamics of teaching and learning, and how cognitive, material, and social dimensions of learning interact to inform the design of meaningful learning experiences.

Our Goals:

  • Explore and understand human cognition in its material, social, and cultural contexts.
  • Position learners as contributors of knowledge-making in science.
  • Develop learning environments that highlight modeling as the central epistemic practice across the STEM disciplines.
  • Support educators by developing evidence-based claims about the nature of learning that have practical and pedagogical implications.

Lab Team

Our Methods

Our lab works collaboratively to understand human cognition and development.

We combine experimental studies and rigorous qualitative analyses with design-based research methodologies in order to develop new theories and frameworks for understanding human cognition and development. Interdisciplinary collaboration with educational staff and researchers at institutions across the nation are a crucial component of our research.

  • Experimental studies
  • Qualitative analyses
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Design-based research

Lab Projects

Explore our learning sciences projects

  • Systemic Impacts of LabVenture

    Systemic Impacts of LabVenture

    This research project investigates the short-term and long-term impacts of the LabVenture program on Maine’s students, families, and learning communities in terms of their perception …

  • Teaching and Learning Ecosystem Modeling

    Teaching and Learning Ecosystem Modeling

    This research project investigates the development of middle-school students’ understandings and practices of modeling in the context of investigations of variability and change in ecosystems. …

Read More