What is learning, for whom, and to what end? An overview

Joshua A. Danish, Jasmine Y. Ma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this overview chapter, we challenge readers to think critically about the key theories of learning studied in the field. We discuss the importance of recognizing the contexts in which these theories have developed and are used. We encourage readers to ask of each theory “for whom?” and “to what end?” We present overviews of both sociocultural and cognitive theories in an order that runs contrary to the usual overview chapter, and end with discussions of what our theories of learning do not yet address, in the hope of pushing us all to think more deeply about what theories of learning can and should do in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Education
Subtitle of host publicationFourth Edition
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780128186299
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Cognitive critical
  • Diversity
  • Equity
  • Learning sciences
  • Learning theory
  • Sociocultural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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