chapter  5
Pragmatism’s contribution to understanding learning-in-context
ByGERT BIESTA
Pages 14

One of the remarkable things about the recent interest in theorizing learning is the almost complete absence of references to pragmatism and more specifically to the work of John Dewey and George Herbert Mead. Whereas Mead’s ideas influenced social learning theory and Dewey was a main source of inspiration for Kolb’s work on experiential learning, their ideas do not seem to play a role in the recent wave of socio-cultural, situated and participatory theories of learning. This is even more remarkable given that many of the newer theories of learning explicitly try to overcome individualism, try to see learning asmore than only a cognitive process, and try to understand learning as embedded in human action and interaction – ideas which are also central to the work of Dewey and Mead (see Hodkinson et al. 2007, 2008).