Culturally-situated and social justice research and approaches in the learning and information sciences

Call for papers for: Information and Learning Sciences

Special Issue Editors: Gabriela T. Richard (Penn State), Brian Smith (Drexel), Tamara Clegg (University of Maryland)

In recent years, scholars have called for more attention to the critical role that social identities and experiences play in learning and engagement in formal and informal education. For example, a recent review article by the outgoing editors of The Journal of the Learning Sciences (JLS) (Radinsky & Tabak, 2017) cited the following areas as having received increased attention: "social justice as a context of learning," integrating work on gendered and racialized minoritized learners and identities (e.g., Langer-Osuna, 2015), socioeconomic inequities (e.g., Conner, 2014; Esmonde, 2014), and learning through social justice movements (e.g., Jurow & Shea, 2015). Social justice and critical engagement in culturally-situated learning have become especially important in recent years when international relationships and civic and political engagement with information have been affected by social media and other technologies (e.g., Kafai, Richard & Tynes, 2016). Moreover, critical scholarship on racialized design practices in industry and academia has propelled greater attention to the design of technologies for widespread information seeking (e.g., Noble, 2018) and youth and adult content creation (e.g., Richard, 2017; Richard & Gray, 2018; Richard & Kafai, 2016). Furthermore, related fields, like educational psychology, have started to move toward formally integrating anti-deficit approaches that seek to reframe how researchers approach, contextualize, center and measure historically minoritized groups by employing race-reimaged framing (DeCuir-Gunby & Schutz, 2014).

In this issue, we seek high-quality, innovative articles that address conceptual, empirical, and theoretical issues relevant to the learning sciences, computer-supported collaborative learning and information sciences that consider micro and macro level issues related to social justice, critical inquiry and culturally-situated learning.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):
Critical or conceptual papers related to social justice and learning
Issues of equity, inclusivity or diversity in formal and informal learning environments
Social justice and civic or political engagement
Empirical studies on the use of culturally-responsive or social justice-oriented approaches to learning

If the articles are conceptual or critical, we urge authors to include cases or data from past or ongoing research that helps solidify or demonstrate how they have or could conceptually operationalize these conceptual or critical ideas. In other words, we encourage authors to provide examples that will drive research and practice forward in the respective fields.

Due date: January 15, 2020
Reviewer invite agreements secured: Jan. 31, 2020
Reviews due: Feb. 28, 2020
Decision made, meta-reviews sent: March 20, 2020
Revisions due: May 31, 2020
Final Manuscript Decisions: June 15, 2020
Production: June-August 2020
Publish: Late-summer / early fall 2020

Conner, J. (2014). Lessons that last: Former youth organizers' reflections on what and how they learned. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 23(3), 447–484.
DeCuir-Gunby, J. T., & Schutz, P. A. (2014). Researching race within educational psychology contexts. Educational Psychologist, 49, 244-260.
Esmonde, I. (2014). "Nobody's rich and nobody's poor … it sounds good, but it's actually not": Affluent students learning mathematics and social justice. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 23(3), 348–391.
Jurow, A. S., & Shea, M. (2015). Learning in equity-oriented scale-making projects. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 24(2), 286–307.
Kafai, Y. B., Richard, G. T., & Tynes, B. M. (2016). Diversifying Barbie and Mortal Kombat: Intersectional perspectives and inclusive designs in gaming. ETC/CMU Press.
Langer-Osuna, J. M. (2015). From getting "fired" to becoming a collaborator: A case of the coconstruction of identity and engagement in a project-based mathematics classroom. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 24(1), 53–92.
Noble, S. U. (2018). Algorithms of oppression: How search engines reinforce racism. NYU Press.
Radinsky, J., & Tabak, I. (2017). Outgoing editors’ note: The Journal of the Learning Sciences as a mirror of trends in the field.
Richard, G. T. (2017). Video Games, Gender, Diversity, and Learning as Cultural Practice: Implications for Equitable Learning and Computing Participation through Games. Educational Technology, 57(2), 26-43.
Richard, G. T., & Gray, K. L. (2018). Gendered Play, Racialized Reality: Black Cyberfeminism, Inclusive Communities of Practice, and the Intersections of Learning, Socialization, and Resilience in Online Gaming. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 39(1), 112-148.