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Reading list for Situativity theories:

Situativity, situatedness, context

A Technical Memo
by
Stephen W. Draper
Department of Psychology
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ U.K.
email: steve@psy.gla.ac.uk
WWW URL: http://www.psy.gla.ac.uk/~steve

This is a reading list I have set myself, but not embarked upon.

Why is it important? It is becoming widely known and referred to, sometimes as the "situativity" position. It is a totally different view (from my cognitivist one) of what is going on in education: a view from anthropology, not cognitive science. Crudely (read the ref.s to find out how distorted this is), on this view learning and education are not about knowledge but about social identity: all learners are learning to fill a new social role and to speak the discourse associated with that role. It is not about learning outcomes as knowledge tests, but as social-role tests. And yet, I have begun to notice some observations that have no place with my normal view and other theories of learning, but fit directly with the situativity view. E.g. when I was allowed to look in someone's reflective journal, an important subset of entries were about what the other students felt about her i.e. whether and how she was fitting into that group. When I ask students what they would really like from written feedback, some of the time they say that they mainly want to see whether or not they belong in this discipline or should switch to another one.

The single most famous name is that of Jean Lave. The Edwards & Mercer book is linked in my mind, but probably they would see themselves as quite different.

Where to start

I have marked with "*" the items I would probably start with. Or I might follow this recipe:
Start with Edwards & Mercer Common knowledge.BR> then follow Barab&Duffy advice? and do Resnick 1987
Then Lave, Wenger etc.
(Then possibly the others.)

References

*ed items are where I think I would start reading

Brown,A.L. & Campione,J.C. (1990) "Communities of learning and thinking, or a context by any other name" in D.Kuhn (ed.) Developmental perspectives on teaching and learning thinking skills vol.21 in the series Contributions to human development pp.108-126 (Karger: London)

Brown,A.L. & Palinscar,A.S. (1989) "Guided, cooperative learning and individual knowledge acquisition" ch.13 pp.393-451 in L.B.Resnick (Ed.) Knowing, learning and instruction: Essays in honor of Robert Glaser (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates).

*Brown,J.S., Collins,A. & Duguid,P. (1989) "Situated cognition and the culture of learning" Educational researcher vol.18 no.1 pp.32-42

Cohen,M.D. & Sproull,L.S. (eds) (1994) Organizational Learning (London: Sage) [at least the Brown & Duguid; and Brown et al. chapters]

Collins, A., Brown, J. S., & Newman, S.E. (1989) "Cognitive apprenticeship: Teaching the craft of reading, writing, and mathematics" ch.14 pp.453-494 in L.B.Resnick (Ed.) Knowing, learning and instruction: Essays in honor of Robert Glaser (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates).

Damon,W. (1990) "Social relations and children's thinking skills" in D.Kuhn (ed.) Developmental perspectives on teaching and learning thinking skills vol.21 in the series Contributions to human development pp.95-107 (Karger: London)

*Edwards, D. & Mercer, N. (1987) Common Knowledge: the development of understanding in the classroom (Routledge: London).

Lave,Jean (1988) Cognition in practice: Mind, mathematics and culture in everyday life (CUP) [The arithmetic book]

Lave,Jean & E.Wenger (1991) Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation (CUP) [The schools book]

Lave,Jean (1991) "Situated learning in communities of practice" ch.4 pp.63-82 in L. Resnick, J. Levine, and S. Teasley (eds.) Perspectives on Socially Shared Cognition pp.6382 (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association)

Lave,J. (1997) "The culture of acquisition and the practice of understanding" in D.Kirshner & J.A.Whitson (eds) Situated cognition: Social, semiotic and psychological perspectives pp.63-82 (Mahwah, N.J.: Erlbaum)

*Resnick,L.B. (1987) "Learning in school and out" Educational researcher vol.16 no.9 Dec. pp.13-20 [B&D say this is start of situativity]

Rogoff, B. & Lave, J. (eds.) (1984) Everyday cognition: Its development in social context (HUP)

Rogoff, B. (1990) Apprenticeship in thinking: cognitive development in social context (OUP)

Wenger,E. (1998) Communities of practice: Learning, meaning and identity (CUP)

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