Mead's Contributions to Learners' Identities



Published 04-08-2010
Silvia Molina Suzanne Gatt Ignasi Puigdellívol


Mead's approach of symbolic interactionism is useful for explaining both how students learn and how learning environments can be improved. This article reviews Mead's theoretical contributions, which serve as a base for successful educational actions in several countries. The interactionist view of learning is examined in depth, as well as the dialogical nature of the self, and the way that verbal language and gestures mediate interaction. These concepts are illustrated with examples from case studies of successful schools, which show the didactic consequences each of these dialogic premises have: emphasise dialogue as a basic tool in educational interactions and coordinate actions between all the people students interact with, inside and outside schools. These interactions and dialogues impact students' development of their identities as learners
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