What Happened to the Promise?: A Critical (Re)orientation of Two Sociocultural Learning Traditions

Niewolny, Kim L.; Wilson, Arthur L.
November 2009
Adult Education Quarterly;Nov2009, Vol. 60 Issue 1, p26
Academic Journal
Clearly it is no longer possible to think about learning without context. Although context cannot be ignored anymore, educators often struggle to explain how people learn in and with various contexts. Situated cognition and cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) hold promise for understanding how adult learners are cultural and historical agents embedded within and constituted by socially structured relationships and tool-mediated activity. This promise, however, is not yet realized as the politicized nature of learning in practice that is foundational to both situated cognition and CHAT remains overlooked in adult learning literature. To move toward fulfilling the promise, this literature review emphasizes the neglected dimensions of recursivity and power within situated cognition and CHAT frameworks.


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