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Lave and Wegner Social Learning Theory Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on October 31, 2012
  • Category: Miscellaneous
  • Length: 1,159 words

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Below is an essay on "Lave and Wegner Social Learning Theory" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.



The Social Learning Theory (also known as The Situational Learning Theory) states that everyone learns by OBSERVING people in their social settings.

At first, it was behaviourists in psychology who noted that people learn through observing others around them. Later on, researchers such as Albert Bandura looked at how people interacted and used cognitive processes. He stated:

‘Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do. Fortunately, most human behaviour is learned observationally through modelling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviours are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action. (Bandura 1977: 22)’

It was discovered that aspects of this observational learning involved an individual serving or catering to a certain behaviour, remembering/memorising it and how it worked for another person and then the individual acting it out to see how it worked for them.  

‘Symbols retained from a modelling experience act as a template with which one’s actions are compared. During this rehearsal process individuals observe their own behaviour and compare to their cognitive representation of modelled experience. (Hergenhahn 1988 quoted in Merriam and Caffarella 1991: 135)’

The above quote basically states that behaviour results from the interaction of the individual with the environment. 

Lave and Wegner put forward a more radical version of this theory in 1991 called ‘Situated Learning’. This means that rather than looking to learning as gaining certain forms of knowledge, they have placed it in social relationships and situations of co-participation.

In their book ‘Situated Learning Legitimate Peripheral Participation’ first published in 1991, William F. Hanks had this to say in his...

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