MPRG "iSearch" | Information Search, Ecological and Active Learning Research with Children
How do young children learn so much about the world, and so efficiently? The Max Planck Research Group iSearch – Information Search, Ecological and Active learning Research with Children – investigates theoretically and empirically how children actively seek information in their physical and social environments as evidence to test and dynamically revise their hypotheses and theories over time.
The iSearch research program explores the development of active learning across the life span, analyzing the effectiveness of children’s information search and hypothesis testing strategies, such as question asking and selective exploration, and identifying potential sources of developmental change. In particular, we investigate “ecological learning,” defined as the ability to flexibly and dynamically select those active learning strategiesthat maximize learning efficiency in different learning environments. Finally, we are interested in developing an approach to classroom learning that leverages children’s active learning strategies and theory-building abilities and harnesses them to inform education policy.
By bringing together methods and insights from developmental and cognitive psychology, philosophy, education, information theory and computational modeling, our research group pursues a multidisciplinary perspective to shed light on the cognitive, social and cultural mechanisms underlying active and ecological learning.
The research group will start its work in December 2016.