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Cultural niche construction and human learning environments : investigating socio-cultural perspectives.

Kendal, J.R. (2011) 'Cultural niche construction and human learning environments : investigating socio-cultural perspectives.', Biological theory., 6 (3). pp. 241-250.


Niche construction theory (NCT) can be applied to examine the influence of culturally constructed learning environments on the acquisition and retention of beliefs, values, role expectations, and skills. Thus, NCT provides a quantitative framework to account for cultural-historical contingency affecting development and cultural evolution. Learning in a culturally constructed environment is of central concern to many sociologists, cognitive scientists, and sociocultural anthropologists, albeit often from different perspectives. This article summarizes four pertinent theories from these fields-situated learning, activity theory, practice theory, and distributed cognition. As a basis for interdisciplinary investigation, the article considers how these theories may be addressed using a cultural niche-construction framework, including the utility of an embedded model that explicitly accounts for effects of the constructed learning environment on within-individual learning dynamics in an evolutionary framework.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Activity theory, Distributed cognition, Niche construction, Practice theory, Situated learning, Cultural evolution.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:No date available
Date of first online publication:September 2011
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