Learning as a Matter of Concern Reviewing Conventional, Sociocultural and Socio-material Perspectives

Michael Schlauch


Abstract: Early progressive and sociocultural theories in education share unexpected similarities with recent research concerned with the socio-materiality of learning settings. Therefore, this scenario retraces the shift from learning as transmission and guided rediscovery towards a performative account of learning as translation. In particular, this paper elaborates the differences between conventional, sociocultural and sociomaterial approaches regarding the unit of analysis, the mediation done by nonhumans and the contemplation of more fluid forms of knowledge. While retracing conceptual links and developing a sociomaterial conception of teaching(-)learning, I argue that the recent line of sociomaterial research carries on what early authors have been aiming at with the idea of practice-based, non-reductive educational science. But, due to its alternative stance on common onto-epistemological assumptions, it opens up new possibilities of collaboration between Science and Technology Studies and educational sciences where the agency of things and the mediation of knowledge emerge as matters of concern.

Keywords: sociomateriality; progressive education; sociocultural theory; learning transfer; scaffolding; zone of proximal development.

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