14 Pages

Design-Based Research: Putting a Stake in the Ground

Sasha Barab Kurt Squire

The emerging field of the learning sciences is one that is interdisciplinary, drawing on multiple theoretical perspectives and research paradigms so as to build under­ standings of the nature and conditions of learning, cognition, and development. Learning sciences researchers investigate cognition in context, at times emphasiz­ ing one more than the other but with the broad goal of developing evidence-based claims derived from both laboratory-based and naturalistic investigations that re­ sult in knowledge about how people learn. This work can involve the development of technological tools, curriculum, and especially theory that can be used to under­ stand and support learning. A fundamental assumption of many learning scientists is that cognition is not a thing located within the individual thinker but is a process that is distributed across the knower, the environment in which knowing occurs, and the activity in which the learner participates. In other words, learning, cogni­ tion, knowing, and context are irreducibly co-constituted and cannot be treated as isolated entities or processes.