Science Education and the Learning Sciences: A Coevolutionary Connection

In this chapter, we argue that the learning sciences and science education have coevolved, a co-evolution that began with the emergence of the learning sciences in the 1990s and that continues today. Our chapter begins with a discussion of four areas of educational scholarship in which the learning sciences and science education have worked in mutually beneficial ways to shape each other’s scholarship, resulting in advantageous outcomes for both fields. In selecting our four areas of educational scholarship, we selected themes that illustrate large-scale changes influenced by both learning sciences and science education research, as well as themes that have emerged across multiple countries and continents. This chapter presents each of the four areas of scholarship, followed by a brief overview of recent research in the learning sciences and science education. In each area of scholarship, key ideas are represented through context-rich examples to illustrate particular aspects of the learning sciences/science education coevolution. We conclude with suggested research questions that warrant additional study.

Songer, N. B. & Kali, Y. (2022). Science education and the learning sciences: A coevolutionary connection. In R. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology, pp. 486-503). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108888295.030