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Learning Research as a Human Science: Old Wine in New Bottles?


by William R. Penuel & Kevin O'Connor — 2010

This concluding chapter revisits the question of why a human sciences approach to research on learning is necessary and summarizes major themes from across the chapters. The conclusion highlights the need for a democratic practice of educational research, the importance of researchers’ making explicit and participating in the imagination and constitution of new social futures, and the expansion of possibilities for understanding, action, and “liminal” participation in practice as potential teloi of learning.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 109. No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 112 Number 13, 2010, p. 268-283
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18420, Date Accessed: 10/21/2017 4:43:08 AM

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About the Author
  • William Penuel
    SRI International
    E-mail Author
    WILLIAM PENUEL is director of evaluation research at the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International. His research focuses on teacher learning in science, technology, and mathematics education. His recent publications include “What Makes Professional Development Effective? Strategies That Foster Curriculum Implementation” (2007, American Educational Research Journal), “Analyzing Teachers’ Professional Interactions in a School as Social Capital: A Social Network Approach” (2009, Teachers College Record) and “Comparing Three Approaches to Preparing Teachers to Teach for Deep Understanding in Earth Science” (2008, the Journal of the Learning Sciences).
  • Kevin O'Connor
    University of Colorado
    E-mail Author
    KEVIN O’CONNOR is assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research focuses on the organizing of access to valued sociocultural networks, in both established professional disciplines and in community organizing efforts aimed at building new social futures. His recent publications include “Becoming an Engineer: Toward a Three Dimensional View of Engineering Learning” (Journal of Engineering Education), “Communicative Practice, Cultural Production, and Situated Learning: Constructing and Contesting Identities of Expertise in a Heterogeneous Learning Context” (Linguistic Anthropology of Education), and “Contextualization and the Negotiation of Social Identities in a Geographically Distributed Situated Learning Project” (Linguistics and Education).
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