The Learning in Informal and Formal Environments (LIFE) Center is a collaborative effort among three primary partners — the University of Washington, Stanford University, and Stanford Research Institute — as well as other institutions across the country. The overall purpose of the LIFE Center is to understand and advance human learning through a simultaneous focus on implicit, informal, and formal learning, thus cultivating generalizable interdisciplinary theories that guide the design of effective new technologies and learning environments.

The LIFE Center's mission is three-fold:

  1. Conduct Scientific Research: To identify and investigate research questions that draw on neurobiological, cognitive, developmental, and socio-cultural theories and their related methodologies to advance knowledge of learning and learning technologies. A central tenet of the LIFE Center is the belief that productive conceptual collisions across disciplinary boundaries will yield robust and complex portraits of the adaptive and efficient nature of learning in our fast-changing, technology-rich world.

  2. Develop Collaborative Partnerships: To develop a model of collaboration within the LIFE Center that nurtures and productively manages the intellectual tensions of interdisciplinary research, and establishes research and education partnerships that facilitate two-way exchanges on the LIFE Center's work.

  3. Build Capacity: To actively pursue, in close collaboration with affiliated partners, educational activities and uses of new technologies for research, education, and dissemination that will increase the capacity of the field to further develop an integrative learning sciences research and implementation agenda.

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