Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Identity and Learning

  • Na’ilah Suad Nasir
  • Tryphenia B. Peele-Eady
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_284



The relation between identity and learning is complex, involving the interplay of both individual sense-making and social/cultural processes. Identity can be conceptualized as a coherent sense of self that develops throughout the life span. It takes shape in relation to how one is positioned by others and through participation in a range of cultural and communal activities, and is fluid over time and place. In other words, identity involves both individuality and group membership, each governed by internal sense-making processes and expectations and interactions within social and cultural contexts. Learning can be thought of as two kinds of changes: changes in the ways one understands an idea, concept, or process, and concomitant changes in the ways that one takes part in learning activities. Therefore, identity and learning have important...

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Further Reading

  1. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning and legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Na’ilah Suad Nasir
    • 1
  • Tryphenia B. Peele-Eady
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of Education & Department of African American StudiesUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.College of Education, Department of Language, Literacy & Sociocultural StudiesUniversity of New Mexico, AlbuquerqueAlbuquerqueUSA