We are an academic home for informal learning at the University of Pittsburgh. Our work ranges from basic learning research, to research/practice partnerships, to field-building and professional development for the informal learning world. PItt also offers a part-time Ed.D. degree in Out-of-School Learning for those who want to be transformational leaders in educational practice, and full time Ph.D. training in Learning Sciences and Policy for those who want to be researchers.
Interested in informal learning? You should also check out informalscience.org
P E O P L E
Kevin Crowley, co-lead, is a Professor of Health and Human Development in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh and a Senior Scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC). He works in collaboration with practitioners and communities to understand, support, and advocate for informal learning. He holds a Ph.D. and MS in Developmental Psychology from Carnegie Mellon, and a BA in Psychology and Education from Swarthmore College.
Karen Knutson, co-lead, is a Research Associate at LRDC. Her research interests are in museum learning, art education, and organizational change in informal institutions. She holds a Ph.D. in Art Education from the University of British Columbia and an MA in Art History from Queen's University.
Mary Ann Steiner, Research Associate, focuses on informal learning and community engagement. She has a background in youth developoment, and has worked at the Science Musuem of Minnesota, the National Science Foundation, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, an MEd from the University of Minnesota and a BFA from Bard College.
Sean Barill, Undergraduate Researcher, is an Anthropology major interested the connections between climate change and social and environmental justice.
Rachel Nicole Bonnette, Ph.D. 2020.
Marijke Hecht, Ph.D. 2020.
Lauren Allen, Ph.D. 2016. Learning as Change: Responding to Socio-Scientific Issues through Informal Learning. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Mary Ann Steiner, Ph.D. 2016.
Kaleen Povis, Ph.D. 2016.
Lisa Brahms, Ph.D. 2014. Making as a Learning Process: Identifying and Supporting Family Learning in Informal Settings. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.
Sasha Palmquist, Ph.D. 2012. FROM DINOSAURS TO DISCIPLINARY THINKING: EXPLORING THE IMPACT OF CHILDREN’S KNOWLEDGE ON FAMILY LEARNING TALK IN A DESIGNED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Debra Bernstein, Ph.D. 2010. Developing technological fluency through creative robotics. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.
Catherine Eberbach, Ph.D. 2009. The Effect of Parents' Conversational Style and Disciplinary Knowledge on Children's Observation of Biological Phenomena. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.
Camellia Sanford, Ph.D. 2009. Let's Give 'Em Something To Talk About: How Participation in a Shared Museum Experience Can Seed Family Learning Conversations At Home. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.
Kyung Youn Kim, Ph.D. 2009. MUSEUM SIGNAGE AS DISTRIBUTED MEDIATION TO ENCOURAGE FAMILY LEARNING. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Jodi Galco Fender, Ph.D. 2004. Collaborative Scientific Reasoning: How Parents Support Development and Facilitate Transfer of a Scientific-Reasoning Strategy. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Roger Taylor, Ph.D. 2004. INFORMAL SCIENCE LEARNING:INFLUENCES OF EXPLANATORY ELABORATION AND LEARNER CONTROL ON KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh