This ground breaking book is unique in bringing together two perspectives on learning, sociocultural theory and neuroscience, to draw out and foreground important developments in our understanding of what learning is, where and how learning occurs and what we can do to understand learning as an everyday process.
Leading experts from both disciplines demonstrate how sociocultural ideas (such as the relevance of experience/opportunity to learn/environment, personal histories, meaning, participation, emotion and feelings of belonging, emotion and memory) align with and reflect upon new understandings emerging from neuroscience concerning plasticity and sensitive periods, mirror neurons and neural networks.
The authors believe that the integration of these perspectives on learning will develop new understandings of learning and teaching. It has also been shown that educational foundations laid in childhood have lifelong learning outcomes in cognitive and emotional behavior, economic productivity and physical and mental health. Many traditional learning practices prevent neural networks from strengthening and as a result the process of learning is shut down in childhood. The brain needs a variety of learning strategies and experiences in order to orchestrate a complete learning experience, yet learning is still viewed as something to attain and possess, rather than something we do and become.
To date sociocultural and neuroscientific perspectives have not been brought together in any clear or concise way. It is the contention of this book that from the integration of these two perspectives will emerge deeper insights into what learning is, as well as where and how it occurs. This fascinating and accessible text uses case studies and examples of practice as well as theory to demonstrate that though the language of sociocultural theory and that of neuroscience appear very different, ultimately the concepts of both perspectives align and converge around a cohesive set of principals.
Areas covered include:-
- Social interaction and culture
- Vision, movement and mind
- Emotions and motivation
- Giftedness, ability and talent
- Literacy and numeracy