Sociocultural theories of learning and development give primacy to human action within the social, cultural, and historical contexts in which learning occurs. In out-of-school contexts, sociocultural theories have helped researchers understand topics as varied as the math involved in playing basketball and the process of apprenticing to become a midwife. This entry begins with the origins of sociocultural theory in the work of the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky and then discusses several theoretical applications of sociocultural theory, including communities of practice, transformation of participation, and affinity spaces. The entry concludes with a discussion of how sociocultural theory is applied in contemporary out-of-school contexts.

Origins of Sociocultural Theory: Vygotsky

Vygotsky is credited with developing the first systematic articulation of a sociocultural theory of learning in the 1920 ...

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