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



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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lynch School of EducationBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA