Sense-Making & Making Sense: Powerful Ideas

Roy Pea, Sense-Making & Making Sense: Powerful Ideas. Humans are pre-eminently sense-making animals, seeking patterns to find order and predictability in the worlds that they experience. Because of the central roles of the physical, social and representational worlds in human cognition and sense-making, learning scientists devote particular attention to how, over the course of ontogenesis, children and adults employ their sense-making apparatus, the brain and the body, and its various sensory modalities, to engage in sense-making activities. Humans also make meanings—with spoken word and gesture, and with symbolic representations, such as those established with information and communication technologies, from written language to images, number systems, social media, programmable language expressions, tangible user interfaces, and immersive worlds and games. People expect others to produce meanings much as they do. So in interactions, we see the intertwining of humans as meaning-makers and as sense-makers.

Roy Pea is the David Jacks Professor of Education and the Learning Sciences at Stanford University, Co-Founder and Faculty Director of the H-STAR Institute, Director of the PhD Program in Learning Sciences and Technology Design, and Professor, Computer Science (Courtesy). Since 1981, Dr. Pea has been exploring how information technologies can support and advance the scientific understanding and practices of learning and teaching, with particular focus on topics in science, mathematics, and technology education and their associated symbolic and communicative interchanges that are integral to learning. Dr. Pea has contributed to building a number of interdisciplinary research centers and complex projects that engage researchers, educators, and industry leaders in collaborative design partnerships for uses of learning technologies. His research centers on how innovations in computing and communications technologies and affiliated socio-cultural practices can influence learning, thinking, and educational systems.