Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Social Construction of Learning

  • Curt Dudley-MarlingEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_96

Synonyms

Definition

Researchers who emphasize a social construction of learning present learning as a social and cultural process that occurs in the context of human relationships and activity and not just “in the heads” of individual learners. In this “social” formulation of learning, the  sociocultural context is not merely the location of learning. The sociocultural context affects how people learn (through participation in  cultural activities) and what is learned ( social practices), and is itself part of what is learned. Crucially, psychological (learning) processes are not independent of the sociocultural context; indeed, they are constituted by the context of which they are a part (Cole 1996; Gee 2008).

Theoretical Background

In the fields of psychology and education, cognition has tended to be situated in the heads and bodies of autonomous individuals for whom learning is largely...

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References

  1. Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The dialogic imagination: Four essays. H. Michael (Ed.), Trans. caryl emerson and Michael Holquist (pp. 259–422). Austin/London: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  2. Cole, M. (1996). Cultural psychology: A once and future discipline. Cambridge: Belknap.Google Scholar
  3. Gee, J. P. (2008). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. McDermott, R. P. (1993). The acquisition of a child by a learning disability. In C. Chaiklin & J. Lave (Eds.), Understanding practice: Perspectives on activity and context (pp. 269–305). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Robbins, J. (2005). Contexts, collaboration, and cultural tools: A sociocultural perspective on researching children’s thinking. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 6(2), 140–149.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lynch School of EducationBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA