Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Learning as Meaning Making

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_1851

Synonyms

Definition

“Meaning making” designates the process by which people interpret situations, events, objects, or discourses, in the light of their previous knowledge and experience. “Learning as meaning making” is an expression emphasizing the fact that in any situation of learning, people are actively engaged in making sense of the situation – the frame, objects, relationships – drawing on their history of similar situations and on available cultural resources. It also emphasizes the fact that learning involves identities and emotions.

Theoretical Background

To learn something means to acquire knowledge, skills, or dispositions that enable the learner to act, think, and feel in ways that are recognized as important by oneself or others. A number of significant educational, psychological, and philosophical perspectives have emphasized the idea that learning in this sense is best conceived as meaning making. These perspectives include...

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References

  1. Bruner, J. S. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education. An introduction to the philosophy of education. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  3. Perret-Clermont, A.-N., Carugati, F., & Oates, J. (2004). A socio-cognitive perspective on learning and cognitive development. In J. Oates & A. Grayson (Eds.), Cognitive and language development in children (pp. 303–332). Milton Keynes/Oxford: The Open University & Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  4. Rochex, J. (1998). Le sens de l’expérience scolaire. Paris: Presses universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  5. Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). In A. Kozulin (Ed.), Thought and language. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Zittoun, T. (in press, 2011). Lifecourse. In J. Valsiner (Ed.), Handbook of culture and psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Psychology and EducationUniversity of NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Communication and PsychologyAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark