Esmonde, I. (2009). Mathematics learning in groups: Analyzing equity in two cooperative activity structures. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 18(2), 247–284.
This article discusses the design and conditions of high school mathematics activities that aim to distribute opportunities to learn to all students. Of particular interest to ISE educators is the analysis of how some ostensibly equitable group activities may shut down equal participation. Also of interest is the theoretical discussion of the relationship between opportunities to productively participate in mathematical activities and the development of positive mathematical learning identities.
Atwood, S., Turnbull, W., & Carpendale, J.I.M. (2010). The construction of knowledge in classroom talk. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(3), 358–402.
In this study, researchers investigated the nature of three different modes of classroom talk—cumulative, exploratory, and disputational—to determine how these modes supported engagement and participation of college-aged students in psychology courses. The article is relevant to ISE educators in that conversation and verbal meaning-making often characterize programs such as science summer camps, afterschool programs, etc. The paper points out how such talk can be made more productive by making it more exploratory in nature.
Cobb, P., Zhao, Q., & Dean, C. (2009). Conducting design experiments to support teachers' learning: A reflection from the field. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 18(2), 165–199.
This article reports the results of a design research experiment in professional development for teachers of middle school mathematics. The authors report on how they developed their programs to account for three underlying conceptual challenges to their efforts: (1) the institutional contexts that teachers worked in, (2) the ways in which the learning developed in and through the community of practice, and (3) the relationship between teachers' learning in the program and teachers' teaching in their classrooms. Especially because of the different institutional cultures found in ISE versus school settings, this article could be highly informative for designing ISE-based professional development programs for teachers.
Berti, A. E., Toneatti, L., & Rosati, V. (2010). Children's conceptions about the origin of species: A study of Italian children's conceptions with and without instruction. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(4), 506–538.
This study examines how early elementary school-aged children develop theories of the origin of species. It may interest ISE educators who are developing strategies for engaging their audiences with theories and processes of evolution. The article provides background on the research literature about teaching and learning of evolution. The results of this study suggest that direct instruction or interactions with Darwinian models, even at a young age, can support children's understanding of evolutionary theory, and may be as important as developmental or cultural concerns already documented in the literature.
Rosebery, A. S., Ogonowski, M., DiSchino, M., & Warren, B. (2010). "The coat traps all your body heat": Heterogeneity as fundamental to learning. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(3), 322–357.
This study makes the case for the ways in which children's everyday experiences are foundational to learning science. The authors argue for the importance of instruction that capitalizes on the diverse experiences and ways of thinking that children bring to the classroom. The article has implications for the design of learning activities in informal settings, where, in the absence of testing pressures, educators might be more free to engage children in "science talk" to support deeper meaning-making.
Roschelle, J., Bakia, M., Toyama, Y, & Patton, C. (2011). Eight issues for learning scientists about education and the economy. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20(1), 3–49.
The authors of this paper examine a common rhetorical claim that improved STEM education is critical to the economic future of the United States. The first part of the paper points out certain weaknesses in this argument. The second part considers how learning research might be directed to test connections between STEM education and the economy, including with respect to workforce pipeline issues and programs. This paper is addressed to researchers in the learning sciences, but its arguments may also be of interest to educators leading workforce development programs.
Barton, A. C., & Tan, E. (2010). "We be burnin!": Agency, identity, and science learning. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(2), 187–229.
This study investigates the relationship between science learning, science learning identities, and student agency. To support the development of science learning identities, the authors argue for the need to provide children/youth with opportunities to engage with science in ways that meaningfully blend the world of science with students' social worlds. This paper can help ISE educators leading youth programs consider the ways they listen to voices and interests of children/youth in order to affirm and support their development of identities as productive science learners.
Reber, R., Hetland, H., Chen, W., Norman, E., & Kobbeltvedt, T. (2009). Effects of example choice on interest, control, and learning. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 18(4), 509–548.
In this study, researchers investigated links between choice, interest, and learning. They found that providing students with choices about how to initially engage with a given topic had a positive effect on their interest in learning more about the topic. The study provides concrete examples for how educators can design lessons that tap into learners' diverse interests and experiences by providing learners the opportunity to choose from multiple entry points into a given subject matter.
Jackson, K. (2011). Approaching participation in school-based mathematics as a cross-setting phenomenon. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 20(1), 111–150.
There is growing understanding that learning develops across time and settings. This paper describes a particular case in which a fourth grade boy’s mathematics learning is shaped by experiences both at home and at school. It is relevant to researchers seeking to understand and study learning as a cross-setting phenomenon. It is relevant to ISE educators in that it raises questions about how to coordinate experiences between home and other settings.
Alibali, M. W., & Nathan, M. J. (2012). Embodiment in mathematics teaching and learning: Evidence from learners’ and teachers’ gestures. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 21(2), 247–286.
Teachers’ and learners’ gestures while giving explanations in mathematics can be categorized into three types, revealing their cognitive nature and communicative purpose: pointing reflects a grounding in the physical environment, representational gestures reveal mental simulations of action and perception, and metaphoric gestures reveal conceptual metaphors grounded in the physical human experience. Informal educators should reflect on their own gestures and those of learners, considering what they may contribute to greater learner understanding.