Symposium presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Special Interest Group: Learning Sciences), Washington, DC, April 8 – 12.
As we celebrate the centennial of Dewey’s ‘Democracy and Education,’ we soberly appraise whether our field has realized his vision of meaningful situated learning, and we look forward to imagine the journey that lies ahead. Session presenters will each situate their contribution in a design study of STEM cognition and instruction. Each group arrived at a different design solution for achieving organization and flow of learning activities (i.e., the task, resources, and facilitation) that optimize the balance of under- and over-constraining students’ discovery process. We thus present a scope of design heuristics that may generalize across STEM domains. Our discussion will remain grounded in the theory of learning and its ongoing evaluation, refinement, and expansion through design-based research empirical studies.