Understanding the Cultural Situatedness of Learning: Implications for Pedagogy

By Rishabh Kumar Mishra and Bharati Baveja.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

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This paper considers culture and cognition as an inextricable whole. At the outset, the paper argues that human beings are biologically programmed for cultural adaptation in ways that other animals are not. The second part of the paper emphasizes the situated nature of human cognition from the stance of the socio-cultural approach to learning. While discussing these concepts arguments are substantiated with anthropological, sociological, and psychological points of view. This paper builds the argument in favour of social constructivist pedagogy, substantiating it through research based evidences. In the present scenario, the dichotomy between culture and cognition is still reflected in classroom practices. The paper highlights the need to look at the two as inextricable entities that should together inform pedagogic practices. The paper will conclude with the argument that this approach facilitates looking at the classroom as an extension of socio-cultural milieu.

Keywords: theme: Pedagogy and Curriculum, Culture, Context, Situated Cognition, Social Constructivism

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 20, Issue 3, April 2014, pp.19-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 625.440KB).

Rishabh Kumar Mishra

Ph.D. Scholar, Department of Education, University of Delhi, New Delhi, Delhi, India

I am full time Ph.D. scholar of Department of Education, University of Delhi. My area of research is culture, cognition and pedagogy.

Prof. Bharati Baveja

Professor, Department of Education, University of Delhi, New Delhi, Delhi, India

Prof. Bharati Baveja is currently working as a professor in the Department of Education, University of Delhi. She is also the former Dean and Head of the Faculty of Education (Central Institute of Education), University of Delhi. She led a major curriculum reform in teacher education at the University of Delhi while she was the Dean. Professor Baveja has been a director on the Board of Comparative Education Society of Asia for several years. Before joining Delhi University as a Reader in 1989, she taught at the Department of Education, Jamia Millia Islamia. Her area of study and research is cognitive psychology, pedagogy and teacher education.