cep900 09.21.11
• Situative perspective
Faculty guest: Dr. Cindy Okolo, Special Education
Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., & Stecker, P. M. (2010). The "blurring" of
special education in a new continuum of general education placements
and services.
Kavale, K. A., Kauffman, J. M., & Bachmeier, R. J. (2008).
Response-to-intervention: Separating the rhetoric of selfcongratulation from the reality of specific learning disability
RDP Individual Meetings
• Purpose of the meeting
• Preparation & requirements
review: cognitive perspective
Cognitive perspective
Review of constructs
situative perspective
A little historical context
• John Seely Brown work at Xerox – the problem of training
• Emergence of situative perspective also influenced by
work in Literary criticism, and social anthropology (Lave
& Wenger)
situated cognition
John Seely Brown et al.,
Situated cognition…what does that mean?
Better yet, if “situated cognition” is the answer, what was the
question? (Remember constructs are created to address
specific problems. What problem does “situated cognition”
situated cognition
Bold assertions
All knowledge is...like language
Conceptual knowledge is similar to a set of tools
Most school activity exists in a culture of its own
Knowing and doing are interlocked and inseparable
situated cognition
Where is meaning, thinking, & knowledge?
What a strange question!
What are the choices?
situated cognition
What does “situated” mean?
And, what is the difference between cognition and situated
situated cognition is a construct
Construct – a complex concept that has a descriptive or
explanatory function
• Remember constructs are created to address specific
problems. What problem does “situated cognition”
• What is the construct of situated cognition an alternative
One of the central issues highlighted by the situative
perspective is the relationship between knowing and doing
Give examples from the reading.
learning is situated…in what?
“Learning from dictionaries, like any method that tries to
teach abstract concepts independently of authentic situations,
overlooks the way understanding is developed through
continued, situated use.” (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1986)
situative cognition constructs
Ideas and terms associated with the situative perspective.
How do they express situative-ness?
Tools, activities
Affordances and constraints
Learning as enculturation
Authentic activity
Cognitive apprenticeship
Students, practitioners, and “just plain folks”
Free discussion (an experiment!)
Discuss thoughts and reactions to the situative perspective.
jean lave
• social anthropologist (studies how people behave in social
groups, often with the goal of re-examining Western
assumptions about the group)
• usually long-term investigation, often as a participantobserver
• helped developed the idea of situation learning and
communities of practice, and legitimate peripheral
lave & wenger
• Examined five apprenticeship scenarios (Yucatec
midwives, Vai and Gola tailors, naval quartermasters, meat
cutters, and nondrinking alcoholics involved in AA).
• led to several conclusions about the situatedness of LPP
and its relationship to successful learning
lave & wenger
Qualities of successful learning
• access to all that community membership entails,
• involvement in productive activity,
• learning the discourse(s) of the community including
"talking about and talking within a practice," (p. 109), and
• willingness of the community to capitalize on the
inexperience of newcomers
lave & wenger
• Communities of Practice (CoP) as “groups of people who
share a concern or a passion for something they do and
learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” (Where
is the learning in this description?)
• Examples cited: Yucatec midwives, native tailors, navy
quartermasters, meat cutters and alcoholics.
lave & wenger
What is learning?
• Learning as social participation in an authentic activity
• Learning begins with legitimate peripheral participation
and moves toward more central participation
• Learning is often unintentional or incidental, rather than
deliberate or the main goal
• Motivation: desire to participate, to develop or sustain an
identity as a member of the group
lave & wenger
Legitimate Peripheral Participation
• Advocated learning as moving from peripheral to central
legitimate participation in an authentic activity
• LPP asserts that authentic participation can occur at all
• LPP describes how learning might progress, what teaching
might look like
authentic activity
Authentic activity: “ordinary practices of a culture”
• The tools and activities of a domain make more sense and
are more readily learned when situated in the domain from
which they came.
• What are these tools and activities?
• Cultures: “domain culture”, “everyday culture” and
“school culture”
What is context?
What is not context?
How can you tell?
And, doesn’t this lead to a circular definition? (Remember the
problems with defining “reward”?)
Even if the definition of context is circular and unclear, there
is still value in considering context and learning
situative research
situated cognition
learning in and out of school
cross cultural research
communities of practice (Lave & Wenger)
language and learning (Heath)
learning in the workplace (Brown)
anthropological studies of learning (Saxe, Lave, Beach)
cognition and school subjects in everyday life (Rogoff)
learning in and out of school
• Consider Resnick’s example and suggest your own
examples that illustrate the distinctions.
• learning in and out of school
• individual vs. shared cognition
• pure mentation vs. tool manipulation
• symbol manipulation vs contextualized reasoning
• generalized learning vs. situation-specific competencies
Seeing learning in and out of school
• Think of situations you are familiar with.
• Can you describe what it is that out-of-school experience
gives that classroom or book learning cannot?
• Give examples.
• How well does Resnick’s framework describe this