How We Began
Groupe d’intérêt spécialisé: Sciences de l’apprentissage (GIS-SA)
Special Interest Group: The Learning Sciences (SIG-LS)
We are the home of the Learning Sciences SIG (Special Interest Group) of the Canadian Society for Studies in Education. Currently, we are a subunit within CERA (Canadian Educational Research Association).
GIS-SA/SIG-LS is founded in 2019, after participating in CSSE as CERA members. Our scholarship intends to initiate, promote, support, and advance our understanding of how people learn in context, and approaches to designing innovative and equity-driven learning environments in diverse settings. The members of GIS-SA/SIG-LS will provide scholarly leadership to the Canadian education research community for the theoretical, methodological, and practical advances in the Learning Sciences.
Statement of Commitment to Anti-Racist Scholarship (issued in June, 2020)
As we officially launch our SIG-LS within CERA, we would also like to express our solidarity with our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues, friends, family members, and members of our society in Canada, North America, and across the world. We acknowledge that our LS scholarship and education institutions in Canada are also one of those that have systematically disadvantaged BIPOC. We also acknowledge that making this short statement could remain meaningless, if we do not actively counter racism in our homes, educational institutions, and scholarship.
As we move forward to grow the SIG, deepen our scholarship, and take responsibility in equity and justice in our education system in this critical moment, we want to commit to taking actions by listening, learning, and questioning our own efforts. We welcome your suggestions for ways for SIG-LS to move forward with this mission. Clearly, anti-Black racism, and more broadly, racism against BIPOC, is ubiquitous and pernicious across Canada as it is across the world. This is a systemic issue that is deeply historicized and reflected in our daily micro-interactions, intentionally and unintentionally.
It is beyond overdue to act and act continuously; our work must begin now. As learning scientists, we must recognize this moment as one that calls for re-orienting our education in fundamental ways. We must learn to make our work explicitly anti-racist. Silence in the guise of neutrality will no longer suffice. The research of academics is used to inform and warrant practice and policy. Research that does not address racism supports racism systemically through that omission. SIG-LS commits to explicitly integrating equity, anti-racism, and social justice into the review criteria for our CSSE sessions and to hosting sessions each year at CSSE on addressing inequity, racism, and social injustice in education. We will work continuously toward becoming a public forum for anti-racist scholarship.
We must also reconsider the foundations of the learning sciences as a discipline in light of systematic oppression of BIPOC. This can begin by foregrounding scholarship by BIPOC, and creating opportunities to explicitly seek, support and encourage BIPOC voices in our discipline. In the coming months, we will be reaching out to you to actively engage in these issues. We recognize that this will take real work on our part, and it rightfully should. SIG-LS must become the place for doing this work together.
The SIG-LS executive committee
(We appreciate Dr. Pratim Sengupta’s contribution to the above statement on our commitment to anti-racist scholarship)
President: Miwa Aoki Takeuchi (University of Calgary)
Post-President: Beaumie Kim (University of Calgary)
Senior Advisors: Jrène Rahm (Université de Montréal), Kevin O’Neil (Simon Fraser University)
Program Chair: Jennifer Vadeboncoeur (University of British Columbia)
Post-Program Chair: Doug Clark (University of Calgary)
Former Graduate Student Officers: Chris Ostrowdun (University of Calgary), Stephanie Hladik (University of Calgary), Reyhaneh Bastani (University of Calgary), Rishi Krishnamoorthy (New York University)