Re: [xmca] Situated cognition vs. Socio-cultural theory

From: Mary K. Bryson (
Date: Fri Oct 06 2006 - 11:39:06 PDT

This is not a careful answer <mine> but one generated as I run out the door.
In my view, the tacit and unacknowledged <typically> political frame that
gives an ideological thrust to the labor of situated cog folks does not take
it as axiomatic that as L/W would say, "learning is about the production of
persons" --- the latter has such extraordinary implications since there is
always and invariably a very specific bias in the cultural intelligibility
of which persons it is that are produced AND visible as such, rather than
remaindered as just so much academic road-kill, or maybe less dramatically,
litter, or maybe precariously, folks in need of rescue and remediation.

Wertsch takes this up quite explicitly in his discussion of Palincsar and
Brown's work on reciprocal teaching, reading and scaffolding --(Voices of
the Mind, pp. 139++)- And so I would say that there is an explicit political
element in the pedagogical infrastructure by means of which persons are
produced that is more likely to be taken up by sociocultural theorists, and
with much better intellectual horse power so to do -- Bakhtin ++

What doesn't happen, in my view, very frequently, amongst socio-cultural
theorists whose work I read, is the next step, which would be to enfold this
analysis back into the theories of sociocultural development themselves...
Great strides were made on this project a long time ago by folks like
Valerie Walkerdine and the other contributors to the Changing the Subject
volume. Much of this has not been taken up as productively as it might, from
my limited perspective.


On 10/4/06 7:21 PM, "A. G" <> wrote:

> Hello,
> I have been following this thread since July 11 and still need to pin
> down how they can be differentiated.
> Bremme's suggestion on Barab and Duffy could clarify CoP in learning
> but is there a definitive line between situated learning and socio-
> cultural learning? Should it be viewed as trajectory and separate
> (Mary) or grey areas that intertwine within both thoughts?
> On Jul 12, 2006, at 5:15 PM, Mary K. Bryson wrote:
> " Situated cognition work can sound a lot like socio-cultural work
> when both camps of theorists are writing about the conditions within
> which significant educational activity takes place."
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