where is the “social” in phenomenography

Cultural component – contextual constructivism
Hi there,
Since I have a holistic perspective on life, including learning, I like making cross references between the different parts of our class material, even if the forums have been sealed into independent blocks.
I have noticed that the culture is barely considered as an important factor of learning in the reaings on constructivism and phenomenography.
True, the student’s prior experience is recognized as playing a role in how their knowledge will further develop and how teachers should include their students’ experience in their teaching approaches, however the articles and the book do not specifically address what that experience is all about.
In a diverse cohort like ours this is – in my opinion – a topic that should be addressed.
This is relevant to the identification of the learning context. In a broader and more inclusive way, a learner’s culture IS his/her learning context . Culture has been defined in many different ways; for me it is mainly a web of relationships that bind together personal, societal, historical, environmental, geographic, linguistic aspects of a person’s life, both as an individual and as a participant in larger communities.
There is in fact something called contextual constructivism, which concerns itself with the relevance of culture in the learning context. I might be wrong, but I could not find any mention of that in our readings.
Thus, to fully appreciate a learner’s prior experience and integrate that into a meaningful learning environment within the context of that learner’s education I think that culture should be given proper consideration. That would include considering – among other things – a learner’s worldview and cultural values and beliefs. These are no trivial matters, as we may have all found out in our own learning experience.
These would allow us to explore issues of effectiveness within the ALGC environment. The book on The Experience of Learning clearly points out the discrepancy between students’ views of their learning experience and their teachers’. In the book teachers are presented are being oblivious of their students’ individual experience, focusing mainly on the academic side of teaching. The book goes on explaining why things should be done differently in the future. Following that advice, is there a way we can continue our learning experience with a more mindful attitude towards the cultural context of the cohort? How flexible can we be (teachers and students) in adjusting the learning environment to the several cultural contexts of the cohort?
Oscar
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