The specialization in Learning, Cognition, and Development prepares scholars to carry out research in a broad range of areas related to cognition, teacher and student learning, human development, and teaching practice. The aim is to conduct research that fosters understanding of learning and development of diverse populations, in a range of settings, across the lifespan.
Students in this specialization may examine topics such as learner motivation, individual differences in learning, child and adolescent development, learning and teaching in both P-20 school and out-of-school settings, cognitive processes in the content areas (e.g., mathematics, literacy), and teacher development and learning. To investigate these issues, research may focus on learning, cognition, and development of the individual, of different groups of individuals, or of groups as a collective, with attention to how context influences learning and development. To this end, students in the specialization will have the opportunity to develop expertise in a wide range of research methodologies, including analysis of large-scale data sets, randomized experiments, program evaluation, design research, discourse analysis, case studies, video and classroom-based research, and longitudinal studies.
Applicants typically have prior course work or experience in psychology, cognitive science, educational psychology, human development, social sciences, STEM fields, classroom teaching, or educational leadership. Graduates in this area seek academic positions or research appointments in a wide range of fields and departments, as well as non-academic positions in non-profit organizations, government agencies, and consulting firms.