Serious Fun: Viewing Hobbyist Activities through a Learning Lens

August 1st, 2013 | RESEARCH

This paper reviews a wide range of literature applicable to understanding why and how hobbyists learn. Of particular importance appear to be theories such as situated learning and communities of practice, but insights from the cognitive sciences related to expertise, motivation and interest also emerged as important. The boundaries between formal and informal education continue to breakdown, making the need to understand and address the needs of learners of all ages, across multiple settings and situations more important than ever. Learning is becoming increasingly “on-demand”, mediated by “colleagues” and initiated in order to solve learner-defined needs and interests (as opposed to the historical condition of prescribed, sequential curricula defined by nameless, faceless experts). Hobbyists afford learning researchers important opportunities to build a better understanding of interest-driven, persistent, contextually-relevant, lifelong learning.



Team Members

Chi-Chang Liu, Author, Providence University
John H Falk, Author, Oregon State University


Publication: International Journal of Science Education, Part B


Audience: General Public | Scientists
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Citizen Science Programs | Public Programs