Conference: On the Definition of Learning
28-29th of August 2014
University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
Anna Sfard, Professor, Head, Faculty of Education, Department of Mathematics Education, University of Haifa, Israel
Paul Cobb, Professor, Department of Teaching and Learning, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, Tennessee, USA
Christopher Winch, Professor, Department of Education & Professional Studies, Kings College, London, Great Britain
Knud Illeris, Emeritus Professor, Department of Education, Aarhus University
Over a number of years learning theory has developed rapidly; old theories are continuously modified and refined and, new theories are developed. The field of learning theory has become massively complex with different foci, founders and proponents, schools, and disciplinary approaches.
The discipline ‘theory of learning’ is still in its infancy, and there is much work to be done in order to be able to discuss various definitions of learning and position the concept of learning in a multidisciplinary landscape. There is a need for a modernised and refined conception of the field of learning theory, in particular the role of learning theory in pedagogical and educational research and practice.
There are at least three areas in need of development in the field of learning theory.
The first area in need of development is theory building within the field of learning theory. Various theories of learning provide us with various ways of identifying learning. The question then revolves around whether and how it is possible to move from single theories to learning theory as a field and reflections on learning theory as a discipline.
The second area in need of development is the examination of the relation between learning theory and empirical research concerning learning and human change. Knowledge about learning theory must prove itself useful in regard to certain contexts, interests, problems, and situations
The third area in need of development is theory building within the field of teaching theory in respect to learning as a phenomenon in the interplay between student(s), teacher, environment, and the societal context.
In collaboration with Department of Education, Aarhus University and Department for the Study of Culture, Educational Research, University of Southern Denmark.
Ane Qvortrup, Associate Professor, Department for the Study of Culture, Educational Research, University of Southern Denmark Merete Wiberg, Associate Professsor, Department of Education, Aarhus University