I wrote an essay last year which was looking at the EYFS and National Curriculum – the theme that emerged was pedagogy and learning within the constraints of such frameworks. I remember at the time referring to children learning by watching and referenced Bandura as a relevant theorist...however, upon reflection, what perhaps may have been more appropriate to refer to was the learning theory of situated cognition. Derived from an anthropological perspective, Leve & Weger studied learning in the context of different cultures. Many of these cultures, they found, developed learning through an expert being watched by a novice – not unlike an apprentice. The knowledge is known as ‘situated’ – in that it is gained from a location and source and is specialised. They found that there were many tribal rituals across the world being passed from generation to generation in this way. The ‘community of practice’ was where groups come together with experts and novices and skills are shared and practiced together.
For me, two issues come up from this – it can be seen how constructivist theory (Piaget) and even more so - social constructivist theory (Vygotsky/Bruner) link into situated cognition. The learner remains at the centre where they construct knowledge but also I can see a link to connectivism theory (which isn’t always clear from the traditional constructivism view. Look at the foundation of situated cognition – particularly ‘community of practice’ - the group come together with experts and novices to skill share – that’s connectivism isn’t it? The difference is perhaps the location of the groups may be, thanks to technology, located anywhere – outside the ‘little boxes’ of old.