What is Situated Learning?
external image communicate2.jpgSituated learning is a general theory of knowledge that was first proposed by Jean Lave. The
method of learning is by the use of social interaction with others. This learning model depends on knowledge that is within context of the conversation. This is allowing people to be involved in a "community of practice". Community of Practice is when a group of people are interacting with each other to gain information. As they interact the more active and engaged they are on an activity. Situated learning makes people learn unintentionally rather than deliberately, this is a process called "legitimate peripheral participation". Situated learning is related a few other learning model such as Vygotsky's "Social Development Theory".

Application & examples
In order to learn by the use of the situated learning model people must be able to communicate with each other by the way of learning activities that focus on problem solving skills. Some examples of Situated learning activities are workshops, classrooms, role playing, or at workplaces.

There are 3 significant limitations to Situated Learning:
  1. It's a time consuming learning method to develop. School teachers using this learning model would have a lot of time constraints due to the limited amount of time students need to learn other information in their course.
  2. The success of learning depends on the participation of the learner. Due to the lack of motivation of some students, they will not participate in activities.
  3. Not efficient for teaching factual information.

Relevance to Courses/Student Learning
Throughout many courses people need to be able to engage and communicate with others when in a group. By the use of communicating we are able to acquire information when needed. As people interact with each other the comfortable people are with each other allowing people to develop their communication skills.

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Situated Learning. (n.d.). Instructional Design. Retrieved March 5, 2012, from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/situated-learning.html
IDKB - Models/Theories. (n.d.). George Mason University Classweb. Retrieved March 5, 2012, from
Smith, M. K. (2003, 2009) 'Communities of practice', the encyclopedia of informal education, www.infed.org/biblio/communities_of_practice.htm.Learning Theories Knowledgebase (2012, March). Situated Learning Theory (Lave) at Learning-Theories.com. Retrieved March 5th, 2012 from http://www.learning-theories.com/situated-learning-theory-lave.html
Reder, Lynne; Anderson, John R.; and Simon, Herbert A., "Situated Learning and Education" (1996). Department of Psychology. Paper 1. http://repository.cmu.edu/psychology/1