Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Situated Learning

  • Jan D. Vermunt
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_133-2


A Situated View on Learning and Cognition

The traditional view of schooling treats knowledge as an independent entity, consisting of abstract, decontextualized formal concepts, which should be transferred from an external source to the learner. A problem with teaching practices based on this view is that they often lead to isolated and inert knowledge. Knowledge domains acquired through traditional schooling are often learned and stored in memory isolated from each other and therefore difficult to access. Inertness of knowledge refers to the problem that students are not well capable of using the knowledge they have acquired to solve problems in practice.

The key idea of situated learning is that knowledge and cognition cannot be separated from the situations in which they are learned and used. The notion of authentic activity plays a key role in this view of learning and cognition. The...


Mathematical Thinking Conceptual Tool Medical Science Education Cognitive Tool Authentic Activity 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK