Situated Learning Theory (Lave)

Summary: Situated Learning Theory posits that learning is unintentional and situated within authentic activity, context, and culture.

Originator: Jean Lave

Key Terms: Legitimate Peripheral Participation (LPP), Cognitive Apprenticeship

Situated Learning Theory (Lave)

In contrast with most classroom learning activities that involve abstract knowledge which is and out of context, Lave argues that learning is situated; that is, as it normally occurs, learning is embedded within activity, context and culture. It is also usually unintentional rather than deliberate. Lave and Wenger (1991) call this a process of “legitimate peripheral participation.”

Knowledge needs to be presented in authentic contexts — settings and situations that would normally involve that knowledge. Social interaction and collaboration are essential components of situated learning — learners become involved in a “community of practice” which embodies certain beliefs and behaviors to be acquired. As the beginner or novice moves from the periphery of a community to its center, he or she becomes more active and engaged within the culture and eventually assumes the role of an expert.

Other researchers have further developed Situated Learning theory. Brown, Collins & Duguid (1989) emphasize the idea of cognitive apprenticeship: “Cognitive apprenticeship supports learning in a domain by enabling students to acquire, develop and use cognitive tools in authentic domain activity. Learning, both outside and inside school, advances through collaborative social interaction and the social construction of knowledge.”

Albert Bandura

In 2014, a list of the Top 100 Eminent Psychologists of the Modern Era was published in the Archives of Scientific Psychology. [7] Canadian psychologist Albert Bandura was ranked number one. Former president of the American Psychological Association, winner of numerous awards and more than sixteen honorary degrees, and widely held as the most influential […]

Erik Erikson

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Problem-Based Learning (PBL)

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Classical Conditioning (Pavlov)

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Multiliteracies (New London Group)

Summary: Multiliteracies is a pedagogical approach developed in 1994 by the New London Group that aims to make classroom teaching more inclusive of cultural, linguistic, communicative, and technological diversity. They advocate this so that students will be better prepared for a successful life in a globalized world. Originators & Proponents: New London Group Keywords: communication, […]

Identity Status Theory (Marcia)

Refining and extending Erik Erikson’s work, James Marcia came up with four Identity Statuses of psychological identity development. The main idea is that one’s sense of identity is determined largely by the choices and commitments made regarding certain personal and social traits. Contents Contributors Key Concepts Resources and References Contributors James Marcia Key Concepts Based […]

Ethical Theories and Frameworks

Ethical theories are important to study in order to establish a strong foundation for challenging situations or guide decisions — how do we know whether something is right or wrong? How can we use ethical theories and frameworks to help us determine appropriate legislation or whether or not a particular technology is designed to be […]

Chaos Theory

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