Research in the Learning in Informal Environments Group is based on the premise that learning takes place throughout one's entire life-course, in a broad array of contexts and interactions, including those that are not specifically designed for learning. Furthermore, we assume that throughout our lives, most significant learning occurs outside of classrooms and other formal learning settings. Yet most educational research focuses on learning within schools, and we know very little about learning in other contexts. Our research also draws on the notion that learning is a multidimensional process, entailing cognitive, social, and affective dimensions and unfolding in a socio-cultural context.
Accordingly, we aim to promote understanding of learning processes and their various components in contexts beyond the classroom. Researchers in our group investigate teacher on-the-job learning, science learning in everyday family life, learning in science museums, learning in pre-military service academies (mechinot) and in alternative schools, etc. Many of our studies focus on socio-emotional dimensions such as motivation, identity, face-work, affect, disagreements, uncertainty, and power relations and hierarchy. To explore such processes, the factors that shape them, and their implications, we employ various research approaches and methods, both qualitative and quantitative, based on observations, interviews, and surveys and including discourse analysis, multimodal video analysis, statistical analysis, and more. The group is also exploring additional research methods, such as psychophysiological measures to study emotions.