The Art and Science of How People Learn - Revised Edition
Edited By Greg S. Goodman
Section VI: Complex Ecologies for Educational Psychology
d_ch 13 thru 24_EdPsychReader_2013 11/9/2013 3:31 PM Page 274 Education, it is rare to find any serious attempts to synthesize across these paradigms and empirical research bases to examine how culture shapes learning and development (Cole, 1998). Although there clearly are differences among these paradigms, they share a number of funda- mental propositions: • Context matters: Contexts help to shape people, and people shape contexts. • Routine practices count. • The cognitive, social, physical, and biological dimensions of both individuals and con- texts interact in important ways. Yet, despite these broad points of convergence, as Michael Cole (1996) explains, we are not yet in a position to articulate a unified theory of culture and human development. Human development here includes not only the development of cognitive abilities but, equally, the ways in which emo- tional and social development and cognition jointly shape goals, attention, persistence, and resilience (Dai & Sternberg, 2004; Zajonc & Marcus, 1984). We have abundant evidence, includ- ing our own tacit self-reflections, that learning is influenced by intersections among thinking; per- ceptions of self, others, and tasks; emotional attributions; and self-regulation. We have abundant evidence that what some call this dynamic and complex self-system is influenced by the contexts, the routine activities in which we participate (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Fischer & Bidell, 1998; Rogoff, 2003). And yet we are still not able to use these fundamental propositions to understand the range of human adaptations in terms of (a) what such adaptations reveal about mechanisms that are local and situated and...