Free, open, and high quality resources on the learning sciences

By Judi Fusco and Pati Ruiz

online learning

Below are some readings that can be used to introduce the learning sciences to a wide audience.  We (Pati and Judi) have been developing a course on the learning sciences for educators (see below for more on the target audience). We made it our goal to find free, open, and high quality resources and that were written for a wider community. Please take a look and let us know what you think.

If you’re a practitioner, have you read any of these?  If you’re teaching a course on the learning sciences, have you used any of these? If not, what have you used?  Are there any readings would you add? We’d love to hear from you — Tweet to @CIRCLEducators or use #CIRCLEdu.

Here’s a little more information about the course we are developing:

Purpose: Connecting educators and research(ers) in the learning sciences to create learning environments that use technology in ways to deepen learning and inspire students.

Objectives: Educators will be able to:

  • Describe from a learning sciences perspective what is known about topics such as motivation, identity, power and privilege, cognitive principles to enhance learning, collaboration and convergent conceptual change, constructivism (theory and pedagogical approach), inquiry, and other active learning approaches
  • Identify a range of learning theories and connect them directly to their own classroom practices
  • Understand affordances and constraints of technology for learning
  • Engage in conversations with other educators to discuss and make connections between practice and research
  • Apply findings from learning sciences research to design learning environments that use technology to strengthen learning

Target Audience: This course is designed for instructional coaches and mid-career and experienced educators (with at least 2 years of classroom experience) who are ready to examine and reflect on their practice. This course is created as a Masters level course, but we are interested in working to potentially create a similar course to be an advanced course or a capstone course in a credential program.

Course Format: We are developing the course in modules and the modules could be used in any course for teachers, including pre-service, with a professor facilitating. We hope to offer the course (through a university) this summer or fall.  As we develop materials for it,  we will share them.  Please do let us know if you are interested in talking with us about the course, learning more about the modules we’re developing, or trying anything out in your course.

Texts and Materials (all free and open)

How People Learn (2000)
How People Learn II (2018)
Developing Minds in the Digital Age (2019)
Learning Sciences – CIRCL Primer, other Primers,  and Posts from CIRCL Educators
Cyberlearning Community Report: The State of Cyberlearning and the Future of Learning With Technology
Innovating Pedagogy 2019; Innovating Pedagogy 2017; and Previous Reports
2018-2015 STEM for All Video Showcase videos
2019 STEM for All Video Showcase videos
DML Connected Learning Report
Naples Videos
Technology in Education What Teachers Should Know By Pedro De Bruyckere, Paul A. Kirschner, Casper D. Hulshof
Deans for Impact Resources
Pedagogical Knowledge and the Changing Nature of the Teaching Profession
The Brain Basis for Integrated Social, Emotional, and Academic Development
Relating Research to Practice Briefs
STEM Teaching Tools. Check out the research briefs
Introduction to the Learning Sciences
Connected Learning an agenda for research and design: A research synthesis report of the Connected Learning Research Network
MSPnet open library of research articles
NSF’s Public Access Repository
Selected (open) sections from:
The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences 2nd Edition (2014)
Power and Privilege in the Learning Sciences (2017)


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