Learning beyond Cognition

Learning beyond Cognition

Learning beyond Cognition

Learning beyond Cognition

Excerpt

The aim of this book is to theorise and analyse dimensions of learning that transcend–or go beyond–an intra-psychological and cognitive view of learning. We use the concept, ‘learning beyond cognition,’ to refer to these dimensions. This approach to learning emphasizes that learning is always situated in specific cultural and social contexts. In this view, it is axiomatic that specific contexts shape the conditions for the kinds of learning that can take place. Jerome Bruner’s cultural-psychological approach to education has inspired our thinking (Bruner, 1996). Bruner stresses that learning is a “complex pursuit of fitting a culture to the needs of its members and of fitting its members and their ways of knowing to the needs of the culture” (p. 43). Therefore learning is “not an island, but part of the continent of culture,” (p. 12). This view cautions that learning must never be isolated to ‘something’ taking place only ‘inside’ an individual because learning is always inherent in ongoing interaction with a social, cultural and physical environment. Hence, the study of ‘learning beyond cognition’ involves opening up for the cultural and social situatedness of learning, as well as for what are traditionally considered emotional and affective dimensions of learning. As stressed by Lave and Wenger in their theory of ‘situated learning,’ learning must not be seen simply as the acquisition of knowledge by individuals but as a process of social participation in a community of practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991). The ‘community of practice’ we will extend to cover also nation states as . . .

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