Situated Learning in Adult Education Essay

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Situated Learning in Adult Education

In the situated learning approach, knowledge and skills are learned in the contexts that reflect how knowledge is obtained and applied in everyday situations. Situated cognition theory conceives of learning as a sociocultural phenomenon rather than the action of an individual acquiring general information from a decontextualized body of knowledge (Kirshner and Whitson 1997).This Digest presents an overview of the concepts related to applying situated cognition in adult learning. It should be noted that situated learning theory has not yet produced precise models or prescriptions for learning in classroom settings.

The Concept of Situated Learning

As an instructional strategy, situated
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A situated learning experience has four major premises guiding the development of classroom activities (Anderson, Reder, and Simon 1996; Wilson 1993): (1) learning is grounded in the actions of everyday situations; (2) knowledge is acquired situationally and transfers only to similar situations; (3)learning is the result of a social process encompassing ays of thinking, perceiving, problem solving, and interacting in addition to declarative and procedural knowledge; and (4) learning is not separated from the world of action but exists in robust, complex, social environments made up of actors, actions, and situations.

These four premises differentiate situated learning from other experiential forms of acquiring knowledge. In situated learning, students learn content through activities rather than acquiring information in discrete packages organized by instructors. Content is inherent in the doing of the task and not separated from the noise, confusion, and group interactions prevalent in real work environments. Learning is dilemma driven rather than content driven. Situations are presented that challenge the intellectual and psychomotor skills learners will apply at home, in the community, or the workplace (Lankard 1995).

Situated learning uses cooperative and participative teaching methods as the means of acquiring knowledge. Knowledge
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