Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Situated Cognition

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_16



Humans are socially curious beings and learn mostly through social interaction with others. This social interaction involves context, culture, activity, discourse, people, and so on. Situated cognition is the study of human learning that takes place when someone is doing something in both the real and virtual world, and therefore learning occurs in a situated activity that has social, cultural, and physical contexts.

Theoretical Background

Situated cognition is a theoretical approach to human learning that supports the idea that learning takes place when an individual is doing something. Situated cognition has been positioned as an alternative to information processing theory. Situated cognition theory promises to complete the symbolic-computation approach to cognition, as information processing theory neglects conscious reasoning and thought (Wilson and Myers 2000). Researchers...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bransford, J., & CTGV. (1990). Anchored instruction and its relationship to situated cognition. Educational Researcher, 19(6), 2–10.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, J. S., Collins, A., & Duguid, S. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32–42.Google Scholar
  3. Clancey, W. J. (1995). Practice can not be reduced to theory: Kowledge, representations, and change in the workplace. In S. Bagnara, C. Zuccermaglio, & S. Stuckey (Eds.), Organizational learning and technological change (pp. 14–46). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Clancey, W. J. (1997). Situated cognition: On human knowledge and computer representations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Gee, J. P. (1997). Thinking, leraning, and reading: The situated sociocultural mind. In D. Kirshner & J. A. Whitson (Eds.), Situated cognition. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  6. Kirshner, D., & Whitson, J. A. (1997). Situated cognition. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  7. Lave, J. (1988). Cognition in practice. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Lave, J. (1991). Situated learning in communities of practice. In L. B. Resnick, L. M. Levine, & Teasley (Eds.), Perspectives on socially shared cognition (pp. 63–82). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  9. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitemate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Suchman, L. (1993). Response to Vera and Simon's Situated Action: A Symbolic Interpretation. Cognitive Science, 17(1), 71–75.Google Scholar
  11. Wilson, B. G., & Myers, K. M. (2000). Situated cognition in theoretical and practical context. In D. H. Jonassen, & S. M. Land (Eds.), Theoretical foundations of learning environments (pp. 57–88). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication, School of CommunicationAnadolu UniversityEskisehirTurkey