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Análise Psicológica

versão impressa ISSN 0870-8231

Aná. Psicológica v.22 n.1 Lisboa mar. 2004


Firsthand learning through intent participation (*)










This article examines how people learn by actively observing and “listening-in” on ongoing activities as they participate in shared endeavors. Keen observation and listening-in are especially valued and used in some cultural communities in which children are part of mature community activities. This intent participation also occurs in some settings (such as early language learning in the family) in communities that routinely segregate children from the full range of adult activities. However, in the past century some industrial societies have relied on a specialized form of instruction that seems to accompany segregation of children from adult settings, in which adults “transmit” information to children. We contrast these two traditions of organizing learning in terms of their participation structure, the roles of more- and less-experienced people, distinctions in motivation and purpose, sources of learning (observation in ongoing activity versus lessons), forms of communication, and the role of assessment.

Key words: Intent participation, formal education, motivation, communication.




Este artigo analisa como as pessoas aprendem pela observação e escuta activas (“listening in”) enquanto participantes no esforço partilhado exigido pelas actividades quotidianas. A observação interessada e a escuta são particularmente valorizadas e usadas enquanto formas de aprendizagem, em algumas comunidades culturais, nas quais as crianças fazem parte das actividades da comunidade adulta. Esta participação atenta “intent participation”) também acongtece em alguns contextos (como a aprendizagem precoce da linguagem na família), em comunidades que, nas suas rotinas, segregam as crianças da maioria das actividades dos adultos. Contudo, no século passado, algumas sociedades industriais confiaram numa forma de instrução especializada que parece acompanhar a segregação das crianças das actividades da comunidade adulta, através da qual os adultos “transmitem” informação às crianças. Neste artigo estabelecemos o contraste entre estas duas tradições de organização da aprendizagem, em termos da sua estrutura de participação, dos papeis dos mais e dos menos experientes, distinções entre motivação e propósito (“purpose”), fontes de aprendizagem (observação de actividades versus lições), formas de comunicação, e o papel da avaliação.

Palavras-chave: Participação atenta, ensino formal, motivação, comunicação.



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(*) Nota da Redacção: Este artigo foi originalmente publicado na Annual Review of Psychology, Fevereiro 2003, vol. 54, pp. 175-203. Reeditamo-lo, neste número especial de Análise Psicológica, com as devidas autorizações das suas autoras e da primeira Revista.

Acknowledgments: We are grateful for the comments and challenging discussion of Araceli Valle, Pablo Chavajay, Behnosh Najafi, Fred Erickson, Sally Duensing, Marty Chemers, Trish Stoddart, David Harrington, Kathryn Player, and Rachel Levin. Karrie André provided essential assistance with references. Some of the research reported in this paper was supported by grants from the Spencer Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and by funding from the UCSC Foundation endowed chair held by the first author.


(**) University of California, 277 Social Sciences 2, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA.

(***) Departamento de Investigaciones Educativas del Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del IPN, Mexico City.

(****) ITESO University, Guadalajara, Mexico.

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