Government agencies and research foundations should develop initiatives and mechanisms of support specifically aimed at strengthening the methodological underpinnings of the learning sciences. Such mechanisms should include cross-field collaborations, internships, visiting scholar programs, training junior scholars in interdisciplinary approaches, and other procedures to foster collaborations for learning and developing new methodologies that can lead to more rigorous investigations in the science of learning.
Research aimed at developing and standardizing new measures and methods is also needed. Studies should be conducted and validated with diverse populations. New statistical techniques should be developed for analyzing the complex systems of learning. New qualitative measurement techniques are also needed, as is new research that is focused on ways to integrate qualitative and quantitative methods across the learning sciences.
28. Foster collaborations in the science of learning. This volume emphasizes the breadth of knowledge areas that affect learners and the significant advances that have been the direct result of collaborative research efforts across disciplines. That kind of collaboration is critical to further development of the learning sciences. It is recommended that government agencies and research foundations explicitly support a wide variety of interdisciplinary collaborations in the learning sciences. Such work should include teachers.
The field of learning research needs to become more integrated in focus and draw together relevant fields for interdisciplinary collaborations. To this end, mechanisms are needed to prepare a new generation of learning scientists by supporting interdisciplinary training for students and scientists to work together. It is important to expand the research scope so that basic researchers and educational researchers can work together on basic and applied issues and to facilitate ways for teachers and researchers to work together. While fields such as neuroscience and cognitive science have made important advances through their joint efforts, researchers had to learn the methodologies and techniques of each discipline before new research studies could be conducted. Efforts are needed to direct training programs in order to foster such interdisciplinary learning.
National databases to encourage collaboration are also recommended to capitalize on the new developments in information systems, research scientists of varying disciplines should be linked together, and teachers should be included in these virtual dialogues. In addition to electronic linkages, scientists should begin to share databases with one another and to work with national databases that they can access electronically.
Databases that link physics researchers with classroom physics educators, for example, have the potential to bring the two sectors closer to the