CSSE SIG

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

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.

We also recognize that the executive could have better representations of our communities, and we would like to invite all of those who are currently SIG-LS members or have intention to become members to consider nominating yourself or your colleagues for the following positions:

  • President-Elect (3 year commitment as president-elect, president, and past president)
  • CSSE 2022 Conference Program Chair-Elect (2 year commitment as chair-elect and chair)

The president-elect and chair-elect will have essential roles in ensuring the continuity of actions toward our renewed vision of LS scholarship in Canada.

As our first action, we will review parts of our SIG constitution to update its mission toward our commitment to equity, anti-racism, and social justice, and discuss the roles of the executive in our first, informal SIG AGM on Wednesday July 8, 2020. We hope that many of you can join us to participate in this conversation.

Please take care,

The SIG-LS executive committee

(We appreciate Dr. Pratim Sengupta’s contribution to the above statement on our commitment to anti-racist scholarship)

CSSE 2020 Information

Our place-based meeting for CSSE 2020 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We would like to acknowledge all those who had work originally accepted at the place-based meeting. Please click here for a list of accepted presentations.

Virtual Sessions - June 16th and 18th

We are excited to host virtual sessions for the Learning Sciences in Canada, with those who are available to share their work proposed for our place-based CSSE meeting.

Please find the scheduled presentations below. If you would like to join us, please contact us so that we can provide you with the Zoom link.


June 16 (Tuesday), 2020

(4PM EDT, 3PM CDT, 2PM MDT, 1PM PDT) Panel Discussion (1 hour)

Pushing the Boundaries: Critical Scholarship for the Next Generation of Learning Sciences Scholars

Chair/Facilitator: Jrène Rahm (Université de Montréal)

Panels: Stephanie Hladik (Calgary), Marilu Lam-Herrera (Calgary), Chris Ostrowdun (Calgary), Emily Mannard (McGill)


(5:15PM EDT, 4:15PM CDT, 3:15PM MDT, 2:15PM PDT) Presentations (45 Minutes)

Design and Complexity Perspective

Chair/Facilitator: Jennifer Adams (University of Calgary)

Design and Decolonization for Complexity Education: Grafemos Learning Environment

Marilu Lam-Herrera (Calgary), Ixkoj Ajkem Community Council (Ixkoj Ajkem Community Council), Pratim Sengupta (Calgary)

Students' redesigning a cooperative board game: Emergent design variations and learning possibilities

Reyhaneh Bastani (Calgary), Beaumie Kim (Calgary)


June 18 (Thursday), 2020

(4PM EDT, 3PM CDT, 2PM MDT, 1PM PDT) Presentations (1 hour)

Coding, Learning, and Identity

Chair/Facilitator: TBD (University)

Assessing Computational Thinking in Higher Education: A Scoping Review

Chang Lu (Alberta), Rob MacDonald (Alberta), Bryce Odell (Alberta), Vasyl Kokhan (Alberta), Carrie Epp (Alberta), Maria Cutumisu (Alberta)

Infrastructuring for Public Computing

Stephanie Hladik (Calgary), Basak Helvaci Ozacar (Calgary), Marie-Claire Shanahan (Calgary), Pratim Sengupta (Calgary)

Who's coding? Public computing in the context of co-operative action

Basak Helvaci Ozacar (Calgary)


(5:15PM EDT, 4:15PM CDT, 3:15PM MDT, 2:15PM PDT) Presentations (45 Minutes)

LS in Post-Secondary Education

Chair/Facilitator: Maria Cutumisu (University of Alberta)

Developing Undergraduate Feedback Literacy: A Design-Based Research Study

Brit Paris (Calgary)

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: How Preservice Teachers Construct Understanding of Inclusion

Chris Ostrowdun (Calgary), Miwa Takeuchi (Calgary), Jennifer Lock (Calgary)

Current Executives

President: Beaumie Kim (University of Calgary)

Senior Advisors: Jrène Rahm (Université de Montréal), Kevin O’Neil (Simon Fraser University)

Program Chair: Doug Clark (University of Calgary)

Graduate Student Officer: Chris Ostrowdun (University of Calgary), Stephanie Hladik (University of Calgary)