LRDC Mission

interconnectivity iconThe Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) advances the science of learning by bringing together researchers from the cognitive, developmental, social, educational, and computational sciences. We take a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to studying a wide range of types of learning across varied settings. Our research on learning aims to contribute both to a just and equitable society and to building a future where everyone can develop the knowledge, skills, and agency they need to fully participate in society and thrive. We contribute to education and research training across disciplines, including both graduate and undergraduate students receiving degrees in various departments, as well as post-docs. We organize our research around the following ten broad areas: Cognitive & Neural Foundations of Learning, Developmental Processes & Outcomes, Educational Opportunities, Equity, & Attainment, Informal & Life-long Learning, Improvement Research in Education, Learning Technology, Motivation & Engagement, Reading & Language, Reasoning, Decision-making, & Argumentation, and STEM.
Cognitive & Neural Foundations of Learning Developmental Processes & Outcomes Educational Opportunities, Equity, & Attainment Improvement Research in Education Informal & Life-long Learning Learning Technology Motivation & Engagement Reading & Language Reasoning, Decision Making, & Argumentation STEM

Five Dimensions of our Mission

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We investigate the basic mechanisms and processes of human learning from multiple perspectives.

Our research seeks to understand the cognitive and neural processes of learning and memory, the social, familial, and cultural interactions that support learning and development, and how motivation and identity are critical for successful learning. We conduct basic research on domain-general learning processes. We also study learning in specific educationally important domains, including reading and literacy, language learning, science learning, and the development of mathematical understanding.

Cognitive & Neural Foundations of Learning Developmental Processes & Outcomes Motivation & Engagement Reading & Language STEM

We study teaching, and design interventions to create high quality learning opportunities for all students.

We examine the dynamic interactions among teachers, students, and subject matter from preschool to post-secondary education and life-long learning. We focus on how teachers and other education professionals learn to enact new, ambitious forms of instruction, both face-to-face and online. We develop technology and instructional designs to support more effective learning. And we provide professional development to help educators continuously improve their teaching.

Educational Opportunities, Equity, & Attainment Improvement Research in Education Informal & Life-long Learning Learning Technology
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We collaborate with educational systems to improve learning opportunities. We partner with school districts to make schools more effective.

We support the creation of systems and interventions to facilitate student access to college and support persistence to graduation. We develop and test interventions at multiple scales: among students, parents, teachers, school systems, policymakers, and communities, often leveraging large educational datasets to track outcomes.

Educational Opportunities, Equity, & Attainment Improvement Research in Education Learning Technology

We study life-long learning processes that occur outside formal educational settings.

Informal learning settings create sustained opportunities to acquire knowledge, learn to think analytically, evaluate arguments, and strengthen self-management skills. We investigate how such learning occurs in various settings, such as the home, the workplace, community organizations, museums, after-school programs, and on-line.

Informal & Life-long Learning Motivation & Engagement Reasoning, Decision Making, & Argumentation
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From our basic research to our work in collaboration with school systems and communities, we strive to enhance learning opportunities, equity, and justice.

We study learning and socio-emotional development among racially, ethnically, and socio-economically heterogenous children and young adults. We focus on factors that serve as barriers or opportunities to enhance access to high quality learning opportunities starting in toddlerhood and extending through adulthood. We consider how critical consciousness, anti-racist beliefs and behaviors, and racial and gender identity develop and support learning and development. We also study how to make classrooms more inclusive.

Developmental Processes & Outcomes Educational Opportunities, Equity, & Attainment Informal & Life-long Learning Motivation & Engagement