International Partnership will Advance Learning Sciences
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University and National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) have developed a collaboration to establish the Advanced Center for the Study of the Learning Sciences.
Under a proposal funded by the Taiwan National Science Council, center researchers will devise ways for educators to keep pace with rapidly changing information and technology in society. Behavioral and neuro-cognitive research will serve as focal points for the center’s work.
The center has several goals, including enhancing research capabilities, cultivating young scholars, recruiting outstanding researchers from the world and strengthening industry-university cooperation, with the ultimate goal of establishing this center as a world-renowned center in the field of the learning sciences, with special emphasis on language acquisition, scientific literacy, science learning, and learning technology.
The work on language mastery and scientific literacy will have important educational and societal implications for communicating across cultures, analyzing and integrating information, and developing knowledge systems. Enhanced knowledge systems allow learners to excel in their efforts to perform comprehension, communication, cooperation and coordination tasks and to resolve problems in various environments.
An important emphasis for the center will be Chinese language learning. There is an increasing demand for Chinese language education within the United States as well as in the globalized world. By combining the fields of neuro-cognitive research and behavioral aspects of world language education, the center will make contributions to the learning sciences.
Research activities will take place at both NTNU and Penn State, and the institutions will develop collaborations with related research centers in Asia, Europe and the United States. The ultimate goal is to develop into a top transnational research center worldwide with multiple dimensions, including a theoretical framework and applications at multiple sites.
Penn State and NTNU are sister universities. In addition to the approximately 40 researchers at NTNU who are Penn State alumni, researchers from both universities will have regular and extensive exchange visits. At present, more than 20 faculty members from NTNU and a similar number of scholars from Penn State are contributing to center activities, including faculty members from the College of Education, the College of the Liberal Arts, and the College of Information Sciences and Technology.
-- by Andy Elder (April 2013)