Situated cognition situated cognition can take many

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Unformatted text preview: of the day.” Social Construction of Knowledge The idea that knowledge can be socially constructed is typically associated with social constructivism, but Piaget also acknowledged the value of social interactions for knowledge construction. (Smith, Dockrell & Tomlinson, 1997). This idea can be implemented in a number of ways. Students can collaborate to solve problems, or they can interact with more skilled learners, or they may share responsibility for learning and understanding. Situated cognition and distributed cognition are two examples of how instruction might facilitate the social construction of knowledge. Situated cognition. Situated cognition can take many forms and names including cognitive apprenticeships, situated learning, and legitimate peripheral participation (Hendricks, 2001). In general, situated cognition approaches claim that both knowledge and learning cannot be separated from the contexts in which they are learned and applied (Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989; Fenwick, 2000; Greeno, 1991; Kirshner & Whitson, 1997; Lave, 1993). Learning is the process of 48 enculturation during which learners acquire the concepts, ideas, theories, beliefs, values, and appropriate actions required by members of a community or practice (Lauzon, 1999; Lave & Wenger, 1991). For example, students learn the knowledge required of scientists by becoming a member of a scientific community. An important implication of situated cognition approaches is that if knowledge is to be usable, it needs to be acquired through authentic learning activities (Basden, 2001). Authentic learning activities involve an emphasis on higher-level thinking skills, substantive conversation among community members, social support for learning, an emphasis on depth of knowledge, and connections to the world outside the classroom (Gross & Kientz, 1999; Newmann & Wehlage, 1993). Typically, authentic learning activities are similar to, or in some cases, identical to “real-world” situations that require the use of what is being learned. For example, Griffin (1995) found that students were better able to execute map-reading skills if instruction included map-reading practice on the actual land that corresponded to the map, rather than as a set of skills taught only within the classroom. According to Brown, Collins & Duguid (1989), one way to provide more authentic learning situations is to use cognitive apprenticeship models of teaching. A cognitive apprenticeship involves having students develop their concepts through authentic (realistic) applications of their concepts while collaborating 49 with more skilled learners. For example, students might learn science by collaborating with scientists on research projects, as in the following example from Rob Mackenzie’s geology class. ⇒ “To help my students better visualize contour maps, I have them work with college students and professors from the local university as they work to produce a contour map of the university....
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.

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