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Situated Learning

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  309 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In this important theoretical treatise, Jean Lave, anthropologist, and Etienne Wenger, computer scientist, push forward the notion of situated learning--that learning is fundamentally a social process and not solely in the learner's head. The authors maintain that learning viewed as situated activity has as its central defining characteristic a process they call legitimate ...more
Paperback, 138 pages
Published December 12th 1991 by Cambridge University Press (first published September 27th 1991)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’m surprised I’ve never heard of this book before, or, at least, if I did hear of it, it left no impression on me. But then a friend posted a list of the 25 most cited books in the social sciences – and this one was twelfth on the list.

There will be some quotes at the end of this review – this is a seriously interesting book. In many ways it is a reworking of Vygotsky’s idea of the Zone of Proximal Development (mostly referred to as the ZPD). As the authors point out, too often the ZPD is disc
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: research
Lave and Wenger (1992) present their theory of legitimate peripheral learning as a conceptual tool for analyzing learning environments and as framework to explain learning as a ubiquitous social practice. For the authors, intentional learning and instruction are not the only causes of learning. Individual learning through social practice is conditional upon the existence of communities of practice. Communities of practice are groups of individuals that interact with each other to collectively pr ...more
Ed Summers
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A concise, clear and theoretically deep analysis of how people learn in communities of practice. L & W use an ethnographic approach that attends to relations between people, activities and the world, mostly outside the classroom. Their idea of Legitimate Peripheral Participation centers on notions of identity, artifacts and the dialectical contradiction found in continuation-displacement, where newcomers ultimately replace old timers. I was surprised by, but interested to read how LPP is dir ...more
Kenneth Packer
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I love this perspective on learning and knowledge.
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's very dense, and I had a hard time with the jargon, but the theory is really important, and I learned a lot.
Lilly Irani
Sep 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Super short but densely written. Reading about communities of practice (in detail) makes me rethink so many learning experiences I've had. Interesting both academically and for everyday life.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What does it mean to learn? Is it the reception and storage of knowledge and information, or does learning encompass more than instruction and learning often exemplified in traditional classrooms?

Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger write that learning is naturally social and occurs in more fluid ways that have traditionally been defined. Legitimate peripheral participation boils down to the journey newcomers and old-timers take together within their moving field of practice. Lave and Wenger share fiel
Ömer Arslan
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book adds a new layer to my understanding of human learning.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aprendizaje situado es acerca de la construcción de una teoría de la práctica para descentrar el aprendizaje en los contextos educativos y disolver la dicotomía maestro-alumno o maestro-aprendiz como única manera posible de poder entablar recursos cognitivos y ser aprendiz de algo.

La propuesta tiene su mérito: sacar tanto el término como la concepción del aprendizaje de las aulas y las cabezas de las personas para colocarlas en las prácticas sociales donde se desarrollan. Esto se log
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
More sociocultural theory - this time a focus on communities of practice. The authors explore the learning process by considering how newcomers are fully brought into full participation with the community. (A very simplified version!)
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
For years I've run across Lave and Wenger in the citations of other works on learning theory. I'm glad I finally read the real thing! This is a foundational text in situated learning. It's an insightful exploration of how people move from being novice learners on the periphery of a community of practice towards becoming seasoned, encultured practitioners able to share knowledge with new learners. The writing can be a bit dense at times, but it's rich with useful concepts and examples taken from ...more
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Had to read for my Supervision class. It discusses how learning is more than a independent task but rather takes place within a social context. The book uses examples of apprenticeship to show the varying success that type of situation can have on learning. Let me know if you want to know more!
Jun 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: educationreading
Wonderful...surely I will always turn to this as a key to my approach to how learning happens and how schools should look.
Apr 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: education/anthro
Really short read about how learning occurs.. especially in group settings- very helpful in thinking about how we as individuals learn through the situations we are put into.
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
really good ideas. Some odd example choices. Last section the best as it ties everything together.
May 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Theory is incredibly useful, but some things need to be re-thought... Don't worry, I am working on it..
Jan 30, 2011 added it
For my ENGL 582 class -- yes, it IS as exciting as the title would lead you to believe.
Tara Brabazon
Apr 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
This was a solid exploration of how we learn new knowledge in an 'old' context. It offered some interesting strategies for how move from an interested outsider to expert insider.
James Pritchert
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this a few years ago and I don’t remember too much about it. I do know that I used it in my job then as an education service representative for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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