Situated Learning and Social Learning

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He realizes that learning is more effective when done in a group, especially when the learner gets hand-on experience. In the classroom, the student is made to learn abstract things which he may not relate to real life. . The student is presented with cold, uninspiring facts packaged in glossy books, beautiful classrooms and scientific rules. The result is, the student no longer enjoys the poetry he reads nor does any value learning take place from the other classes he attends, except dry jargon and clichs. Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger, in their book, Situated Learning : Legitimate Peripheral Participation, make a strong case for Situated learning with its emphasis on the contextual setting and .social interaction.
While people learn things easily and faster under the conditions of legitimate peripheral participation (LPP), it has some major drawbacks such as the model exerting subtle influence on the learners, so that they learn socially unacceptable behaviour like aggression .
According to Lave and Wenger. Legitimate peripheral participation (LPP) occurs when the learner begins to move from the periphery of the community to its center. Social interaction is of paramount importance in situated learning, with learners becoming involved in community practice. Situated learning, according to the authors, is mostly unintentional, as opposed to deliberate learning. We see examples of situated learning in the case of pre-schoolers, who learn to recite nursery rhymes or tell stories, seeing their peers do the same .Situated learning happens when a visitor to a country learns its language entirely by interacting with the local people.
Situated learning has other proponents such as Brown, Collins and Duguid (1989) who propose the idea of cognitive apprenticeship. According to Schoenfeld, mathematical problem solving is also a form of situated learning. As all mathematics teachers know, when the students are encouraged to think of mathematics is everyday life context, they learn better and the mathematical problems are solved faster. Children seem to understand mathematics better when they relate it to real life situations and solve it in a group.(Schoenfeld)
A requirement of situated learning is that knowledge should be presented in situations where the knowledge would apply. For instance, in a lesson on friction in physics, the learner would understand the concept better when he or she is made to experience the friction between a nut and bolt when they are not oiled, and when they are oiled.
An apprentice nurse would learn how to lift the patient better by doing it in the hospital than by reading about it in the classroom. Similarly, an apprentice mechanic learns how to repair your car by hands on experience A visitor in France would quickly learn French as well as the typical gestures of the French people. Situated learning happens when a child learns its mother tongue easily. The same child finds it difficult to learn a foreign language at school .
According to William P. Hanks, situated learning takes as its focus the relationship between learning and the social situation in which it