College of Education > News and Publications > News: Jan. - March 2010 > Learning Sciences to Be Focus of Annual Waterbury Lecture

Learning Sciences to Be Focus of Annual Waterbury Lecture

Susan Goldman and James Pellegrino will share their experiences setting up the Center for Learning Sciences in the Disciplines at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

by David Price (January 2010)
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Penn State's College of Education will welcome two leading scholars in the field of Learning Sciences as guest lecturers in early February. Susan R. Goldman will deliver the Learning Sciences Group Lecture on February 8, 2010 from 4:30 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. in the Memorial Lounge of Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, and James W. Pellegrino will deliver the next presentation in the Waterbury Lecture Series on February 9, 2010 at 4:30 P.M. in 102 Chambers Building.

Susan Goldman is Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the departments of Psychology and Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her lecture is titled "Literacy in the 21st Century: Implications for Learning in the Disciplines." ThePellegrino_Jim.jpg event is open to the public, and light refreshments will be served following the lecture.

James Pellegrino is Liberal Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As Penn State's Waterbury Guest Lecturer, his presentation is titled "To Test or Not to Test: That is NOT the Question!!!" The event is open to the public.

Pellegrino and Goldman are co-directors of the Center for Learning Services in the Disciplines at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"We are excited to have Jim and Susan visiting Penn State to share their experiences in setting up the Center for Learning Sciences in the Disciplines at UIC," says Richard Duschl, Waterbury Chaired Professor in Secondary Education.

Duschl.jpg"The two presentations," he says, "will provide an opportunity to learn about research at the cutting edge of a new and exciting way of thinking about (1) teaching and learning in schools and in out-of-school environments and (2) the design and alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment models."

Penn State started its Learning Sciences Group with a grant from the Social Science Research Institute, and Duschl hopes Pellegrino and Goldman can "help our Learning Sciences Group think through how we can pursue a Learning Sciences agenda as a focus for scholarly activities across departments in the College of Education, as well as other Penn State colleges that do research on learning and the design of learning environments."

Susan Goldman is a cognitive science expert recognized internationally for research on text processing and reading comprehension. She conducts research on subject matter learning, instruction, assessment, and roles for technology, especially in literacy and mathematics. Her current research is particularly focused on understanding the literacy demands in different disciplinary contexts and the implications of these demands for supporting learning. She is executive editor for Cognition & Instruction and is associate editor for Discourse Processes, Educational Research Review, and the Journal of Educational Psychology.

James Pellegrino, also a cognitive scientist, is recognized among educational researchers and policy makers as the leading voice in matters of assessment reform. Currently he is engaged in important reform science education efforts with the College Board, the White House, and the National Research Council. Additionally, he has been a leader in advancing the agenda of Learning Sciences and a new academic focus that brings together scholars interested in the design of learning environments.

The Waterbury Lecture is held twice a semester featuring prominent speakers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The Waterbury Lecture Series is sponsored by an endowment from Kenneth Waterbury to the Penn State College of Education to create the Kenneth B. Waterbury Chair in Secondary Education, held by Richard A. Duschl since he joined Penn State in 2008. His research focuses on advancing teacher education programs and on the design of learning environments that seek and promote collaborations among STEM education.