ERIC Number: EJ1076238
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Reference Count: 24
Commentary: Some Prospects for Connecting Concepts and Methods of Individual Cognition and of Situativity
Greeno, James G.
Educational Psychologist, v50 n3 p248-251 2015
The development of scientific concepts and methods that supported analyses of individual cognition and learning occurred during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, with outstanding contributions by Newell and Simon (1972), van Dijk and Kintsch (1983), and others, providing an impressive and rapid scientific advance. At the same time, another research program was developing in departments of anthropology, sociology, and linguistics (e.g., Garfinkel, 1967; Mehan, 1979), focused on patterns of interaction, especially in discourse. The term "situated" came into prevalent use with publications by Suchman (1987/2007; "Plans and Situated Actions: The Problem of Human-Machine Communication") and by Lave and Wenger (1991; "Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation"). Here, author James Greeno asserts that he observes a consensus in the field that concepts and methods of both the individual-cognitive and the situative perspectives are needed in developing satisfactory explanatory accounts of human learning and cognition. Although there is agreement that some combination of resources from the individual-cognitive perspective and from the situative perspective is needed, the field has not settled on a single way in which the resources from these programs relate to each other. Greeno agrees with a philosophy argued by Sandra Mitchell that it is a mistake to assume one best theory exists in a domain, and differing theories provide alternative and productive conceptualizations. Thus the contributions to this special issue of "Educational Psychologist" advance the field's explanatory capabilities by extending the range of concepts and methods to include processes and causal factors at the level of activity systems, organizations, and cultures. Each of the contributions to this issue can be understood as providing integrative connections across these levels.
Descriptors: Learning Theories, Social Environment, Educational Psychology, Cognitive Processes, Concept Formation, Methods, Influences, Educational Research
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A