Just scanning through John Seely Brown’s publication page and came across this article… couldn’t agree more with the concept and wish it were adopted by NZ teacher education providers and the requirements placed on them by government!
John Seely Brown, Allan Collins, and Paul Duguid: Situated Learning and the Culture of Learning
Abstract: “Many teaching practices implicitly assume that conceptual knowledge can be
abstracted from the situations in which it is learned and used. This article argues that this assumption inevitably limits the effectiveness of such practices. Drawing on recent research into cognition as it is manifest in everyday activity, the authors argue that knowledge is situated, being in part a product of the activity, context, and culture in which it is developed and used. They discuss how this view of knowledge affects our understanding of learning, and they note that conventional schooling too often ignores the influence of school culture on what is learned in school. As an alternative to conventional
practices, they propose “cognitive apprenticeship” (Collins, Brown, & Newman, in press), which honors the situated nature of knowledge. They examine two examples of mathematics instruction that exhibit certain key features of this approach to teaching.”
In their introduction, they write: “Recent investigations of learning … challenge this separating of what is learned from how it is learned and used.The activity in which knowledge is developed and deployed, it is now argued, is not separable from or ancillary to learning and cognition. Nor is it neutral. Rather, it is an integral part of what is learned. Situations might be said to co-produce knowledge through activity. Learning and cognition, it is now possible to argue, are fundamentally situated.”