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Situated Cognition

Page history last edited by Debra Lee 14 years, 11 months ago

Situated Cognition


     Learning resides in "real-life" contexts. Certainly an over-simplification of situated cognition, but those five words do reflect the essential essence of situated cognition. From my English as a Second Language background, I view use of task-based and problem-based learning, creating/adapting lessons that examine problems and tasks that students will encounter in real-life, as a form of situated cognition. This is not the typical view of second language acquisition theorists, however. Ellis (2003) points to input and interaction hypotheses, Vygotskian approaches to language learning, and communicative language learning as the theoretical bases for task-based language learning. No mention of Greeno or Lave and Wenger can be found in his text.

     Perhaps we truly need a more cross-disciplinary approach to pedagogy. Second language learning has its theories, education psychology theirs. However, perhaps we should spend more time exploring the similarities in the theories and focusing less on the differences.



  • Brown, J.S., Collins, A., & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher 8(1), 32-42. Available at http://www.educ.msu.edu/DWongLibrary/CEP900/Library/BrownCollinsDuguid1989.pdf
  • Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Greeno, J. G. (1998). The Situativity of Knowing, Learning, and Research. American Psychologist, 53(1), 5-26.
  • Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.




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