Situation as construct. A Critical Review of Objectivist Definitions of the Situation

  • Helmut Heid


The concept of «situation» plays an important role in the research on teaching-and-learning. In a specific way, it draws the attention to the fact that human learning always takes place under concrete environmental conditions, and that the quality of the result of human learning depends – among other things – on the quality of the learning environment concerned.
The high probability of this statement favours to neglect the issue to what extent the learning environment concerned, in the theory of teaching-and-learning, is not only an independent variable but also, and above all, a dependent variable (depending on learning itself). What is meant by “situation” is not a physical fact but the result of an interpretation of facts, that is a theoretical construct. That is true too for the (quality) characteristics of the situation as postulated by teaching-and-learning theory; these are in particular the authenticity and the complexity of desirable learning environments. The article aims at contributing to the clarification of the concept «situated learning».

How to Cite
Heid, H. (2001) “Situation as construct. A Critical Review of Objectivist Definitions of the Situation”, Swiss Journal of Educational Research, 23(3), pp. 513–528. doi: 10.24452/sjer.23.3.4617.