Situated Cognition - History

History

While situated cognition gained recognition in the field of educational psychology in the late twentieth century, it shares many principles with older fields such as critical theory, (Frankfurt School, 1930; Freire, 1968) anthropology (Jean Lave & Wenger, 1991), philosophy (Martin Heidegger, 1968), critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, 1989), and sociolinguistics theories (Bhaktin, 1981) that rejected the notion of truly objective knowledge and the principles of Kantian empiricism.

Situated cognition draws a variety of perspectives, from an anthropological study of human behavior within communities of practice to the ecological psychology of the perception-action cycle and intentional dynamics, and even research on robotics with work on autonomous agents at NASA and elsewhere (e.g., work by W. J. Clancey). Early attempts to define situated cognition focused on contrasting the emerging theory with information processing theories dominant in cognitive psychology.

Recent perspectives of situated cognition have focused on and draw from the concept of identity formation as people negotiate meaning through interactions within communities of practice. Situated cognition perspectives have been adopted in education, instructional design, online communities and artificial intelligence (see Brooks, Clancey). Grounded Cognition, concerned with the role of simulations and embodiment in cognition, encompasses Cognitive Linguistics, Situated Action, Simulation and Social Simulation theories. Research has contributed to the understanding of embodied language, memory, and the representation of knowledge.

Recently theorists have recognized a natural affinity between situated cognition, New Literacy Studies and new literacies research (Gee, 2010). This connection is made by understanding that situated cognition maintains that individuals learn through experiences. It could be stated that these experiences, and more importantly the mediators that affect attention during these experiences is affected by the tools, technologies and languages used by a socio-cultural group and the meanings given to these by the collective group. New literacies research examines the context and contingencies that language and tool use by individuals and how this changes as the Internet and other communication technologies affect literacy.

Read more about this topic:  Situated Cognition

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