Breakthroughs and insights now emerge regularly from the learning sciences. Yet they are slow to make their way into schools, family support systems, and the social consciousness in positive ways. Too often, new findings are either left to wilt in inaccessible academic journals, contorted by splashy headlines, or too complicated to lead to real policy changes. One major contributor to this problem: Journalists, storytellers (such as movie producers), policy influencers, and learning scientists have no incentive to take the time to listen to each other, grapple with problems together, and gain a deeper understanding of the other’s mission and work. This dampens prospects of good translation from the world of science to the mainstream media. It also causes difficulties in the other direction: learning scientists rarely have a chance to hear the journalist’s perspective on the creation of scientific stories. Many scientists don’t interact with policy leaders, or with storytellers who are in more regular contact with parents, educators, and the general public.
The Learning Sciences Exchange is designed to address this problem. LSX is a one-of-a-kind fellowship program that will bring together fellows, who will participate for 2 years. The fellows will hail from multiple countries as diversity is key as discussions on policy and child development impact us all. LSX Fellows will work in teams on projects that cross boundaries, attend workshops and conferences on the science of learning, and work on concrete deliverables such as blog posts and op-eds. The ideal LSX Fellows candidate will be already engaged in projects related to early child development and learning. Fifteen fellows will be chosen, three from each of the five sectors (learning science, social entrepreneurship, journalism, entertainment, and policy) across North America and Europe.
The LSX Fellows’ first meeting is on June 16-17 in Washington, DC at the LSX Summit, an event that will showcase the work of the current class of LSX Fellows. At the culmination of the fellowship in June 2022, the new class of LSX Fellows will showcase their work at a second LSX Summit.
LSX is led in partnership among New America, the International Congress of Infant Studies, and the Jacobs Foundation.
- Robert Carpenter, University of Southern California, United States of America
- Catherine de Lange, New Scientist, United Kingdom
- Sujata Gupta, Freelance Science Journalist, United States of America
- Melissa Hogenboom, Editor, BBC Reel, United Kingdom
- Sacha Kyle, Television Director, United Kingdom
- Megan McClelland, Oregon State University, United States of America
- Janna Pahnke, Foundation Haus der kleinen Forscher, Germany
- Meredith Rowe, Harvard University, United States of America
- Lisa Scott, University of Florida, United States of America
- Jill Shinderman, Barclay Square Media, United States of America
- Elizabeth Shuey, Organisation for Economic Co-operation, France
- Katie Whitehouse, National League of Cities, United States of America
Interested in Applying?
- Are you a scientist on the cusp of new discoveries in child development?
- Perhaps you’re a social impact entrepreneur in the field of early childhood seeking to learn more about society’s critical needs for improving the lives of all young children?
- Maybe you are a mid-career journalist seeking the next big story in early learning?
- Could you be an entertainment producer or game developer who wants to gain a deeper understanding of how children learn and develop?
- Or perhaps you are the early education policy influencer who designs systems for educators to help young children thrive?
Answering “yes” to any of these questions means that you are an ideal candidate for this new cutting edge, interdisciplinary two-year fellowship called the Learning Sciences Exchange (LSX). LSX was designed to break through traditional silos that separate learning scientists from those in journalism, education policy, and entertainment. The goal of LSX is nothing short of deepening society’s understanding of child development. This unique fellowship will foster the exchange of ideas across disciplines about how to share crucial insights with the public and positively affect children and families’ lives. Fellows will work on cross-sector projects, visit labs and other significant sites, attend conferences across different disciplines, and work collaboratively on concrete deliverables such as blog posts and op-eds.
The ideal LSX fellows candidate will be engaged in projects related to early child development. This fellowship will provide them the counsel and inspiration they need to reach larger audiences. Several examples illustrate the power of such an exchange. In the entertainment industry, there are a few examples already of television script writers embedding child development information in shows that enjoy enormous reach. In the popular Netflix show Orange is the New Black, for example, writers incorporated a line about how important it is to talk to children during a episode in which a father came to visit a mother in prison.
A high-level advisory board will guide each fellow with advice and input. At the culmination of the fellowship, the LSX Fellows will showcase their work at the second LSX Summit in Washington, DC.
The LSX is designed and organized by New America, the International Congress of Infant Studies, and the Jacobs Foundation.