In the situated learning approach, knowledge and skills are learned in contexts that reflect how knowledge is obtained and applied in everyday situations. As an instructional strategy, situated cognition is a means for relating subject matter to learners' needs and concerns. Four major premises guide the development of classroom activities for situated learning: learning is grounded in the actions of everyday situations; knowledge is acquired situationally and transfers only to similar situations; learning is the result of a social process encompassing ways of thinking, perceiving, problem solving, and interacting in addition to declarative and procedural knowledge; and learning is not separated from the world of action but exists in robust, complex, social environments made up of actors, actions, and situations. Situated learning places learners in the center of an instructional process consisting of content, context, a community of practice, and participation. These four elements offer intriguing opportunities for educators to engage adult learners in novel and meaningful ways by creating environments that foster natural learning processes, selecting situations that will engage learners in complex and realistic problem-centered activities, acting first as content transmitters and eventually as facilitators of learning, and fostering the notion of cognitive apprenticeships. (Contains 20 references) (MN)
ERIC Digests; Situated Learning
1 - Available on microfiche
ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.
Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.