Sociocultural Perspectives

Social and cultural perspectives on learning suggest that all learning (and the knowledge that results from it) is distributed—not only across space and time, but also across artifacts, bodies, and social groups. In this regard, such a perspective contrasts strongly with more conventional learning perspectives. The latter, in keeping with psychological assumptions, focus primarily on the minds of individuals. Thus, conventional perspectives allow for learning to be distributed across space and time but subordinate or simply reject other forms of distribution. So where social and cultural perspectives focus on groups, social practice, and human activity, conventional perspectives view learning primarily in terms of individual minds. Context—social or material—becomes at best a useful prop, but for the most part, a distraction. Although the pragmatic philosopher ...

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