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University of Pittsburgh    
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  Jul 14, 2024
 
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Learning Sciences and Policy Program


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The Learning Sciences and Policy program is based on the belief that understanding learning, teaching, and organizations is best undertaken as an interactive system, and that an integrated and coordinated interdisciplinary approach is best suited to understand, design and implement educational change. The program combines disciplines in learning sciences, teaching in the content disciplines, and organization and policy studies with the goal of improving instruction at scale, and is predicated on the idea that successful policy solutions will require learning on the part of educational professionals at all levels of the system.

  • Learning Science and Policy (LSAP) PhD

The Learning Sciences and Policy (LSAP) PhD program brings three groups of faculty expertise together into a collaborative research and training environment: learning sciences in education; content-based educational research; and education policy and organizational change. The goal for the new program is to produce a yearly cohort of 5 to 8 nationally-competitive research scholars who have the training, track-record, and vision to become leaders in understanding and promoting educational change.

Our program is based on the belief that understanding learning, teaching, and organizations is best undertaken as an interactive system, and that an integrated and coordinated interdisciplinary approach is best suited to understand, design, and implement educational change. The program combines disciplines in learning sciences, teaching in the content disciplines, and organization and policy studies with the goal of improving instruction at scale, and is predicated on the idea that successful policy solutions will require learning on the part of educational professionals at all levels of the system.

Innovative features of the LSAP PhD Program:

  • Students will be immersed in rigorous interdisciplinary research and training experiences from their first day in the program.
  • The University of Pittsburgh Learning Policy Center will serve as a vehicle for dissemination of LSAP faculty and student research as well as a location for policy internships.
  • Access to Pittsburgh’s rich talent pool of analysts and research in education policy and learning including research scientists at Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), policy specialists at the RAND Corporation, research methodologists at Carnegie Mellon, and education reform specialists at the Institute for Learning.
  • Admitted students will be guaranteed full funding (for three years) through research assistantships that will allow them to work alongside active researchers on funded research programs.
  • Students will participate in a year of field placement or a semester of field placement and a semester of teaching practicum at the college level. Field placements provide experiences outside the university (e.g., museums, school districts, community centers, and research centers).
  • Policy and design internships with projects including the Institute for Learning, the Learning Policy Center, University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Out-of-School Learning Environments (UPCLOSE), Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (PSLC), SWoRD, the Design-based Learning Project.
  • Active involvement in ongoing research projects.
  • Integrated coursework that covers the fields of Learning Sciences, Learning Policy and Organizations, and Content Area Learning.
  • Rigorous training in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methods.

 

  • Out-of-School Learning EdD

The EdD Area of Concentration (ARCO) in Out-of-School Learning is intended for experienced professionals who aspire to be transformational leaders in out-of-school learning. Prospective applicants might currently work in museums, out-of-school time (OST) settings, libraries, digital media/technology, university outreach/extension, policy groups and think tanks, life-long learning programs, parks, environmental centers, arts-based organizations, community settings, youth development, or the many other areas where we explore learning environments that exist outside of classrooms. Program faculty are expert in connecting research and practice and have experience across a wide range of out-of-school settings, audiences, and learning arrangements.

Out-of-School Learning students are part of a larger, multidisciplinary EdD cohort of students from eight different specializations in education, offering rich opportunities for collaboration and broad learning about education. The core EdD curriculum covers educational foundations and methods of practitioner inquiry, while the specialized out-of-school learning curriculum focuses on informal learning theory, organizational processes, applied life-long learning, and evidence-based change and evaluation.

In addition to online work, most students in the EdD program come to Pittsburgh for occasional Saturday sessions with the entire EdD cohort. Students in the out-of-school learning program can opt for this online/face-to-face model or could choose a predominately online model. Students who do not live in Pennsylvania can apply for merit-based scholarships to help offset the cost of out-of-state tuition.

Contact Information

Program Chair, Kevin Crowley
Learning Sciences and Policy
LRDC 827
E-mail: crowleyk@pitt.edu
Phone:   412-624-7677
Fax:        412-624-7439

Programs

    ConcentrationDoctoral

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