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Learning as Meaning Making

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Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning


Meaning construction; Sense-making


“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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Correspondence to Tania Zittoun .

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Zittoun, T., Brinkmann, S. (2012). Learning as Meaning Making. In: Seel, N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA.

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