The science of learning (or learning sciences) is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on understanding the processes and products of learning and implications for teaching. Learning scientists focus on both formal contexts of learning such as school classrooms and the informal learning that occurs outside formal education.
Learning scientists work to improve our understanding of the attentional, cognitive, affective and social processes that result in deep and effective learning (Sawyer, 2014). The sciences of learning include cognitive science, educational psychology, computer science, neurosciences, sociology, information sciences, instructional design, and many other fields.
The National Science Foundation supports research that harnesses and integrates knowledge across multiple disciplines to create a common groundwork of conceptualization, experimentation and explanation that anchor new lines of thinking and inquiry towards a deeper understanding of learning. Specifically, the NSF has funded a number of Science of Learning Collaborative Networks as well as the following Science of Learning Centers:
- Center of Excellence for Learning in Education, Science, and Technology (CELEST)
- Center for Learning in Informal and Formal Environments (LIFE)
- Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center for Robust Learning (PSLC)
- Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC)
- Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center (TDLC)
- Visual Language and Visual Learning Center (VL2)