The concept of guided participation was introduced by Barbara Rogoff and her colleagues in the early 1980s to focus attention on the mutual involvement of children and other people in children’s learning. At that time, it was common to focus either on children or on their social partners as the active party responsible for children’s learning. That is, children’s learning might be attributed to adult instruction, in a transmission model, or it might be attributed to children’s discovery, in an acquisition model. In either of these one-sided models, the other side is seen as passive, either with the child as a passive receiver of transmission or with social partners as simply making data available for the child’s acquisition.

In contrast, the concept of guided participation ...

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