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Schema learning theory: Enhancing practice within sociocultural teaching, learning and assessment

Meredith Kelly

This article has arisen from a study involving teachers in an early childhood centre and their responses to being introduced to schema learning theory. As a former practitioner in early childhood education and in my current role in initial teacher education, I have an interest in cognitive constructivist learning theories from both developmental and sociocultural pedagogies and how these theories have changed and adapted over time. While some would suggest schema learning theory and sociocultural approaches to children’s learning are pedagogically worlds apart, it is the purpose of this article to highlight the benefits and possibilities for both. Schema theory involves teachers identifying, interpreting, and extending learning while sociocultural approaches use the discourse of noticing, recognising, and responding. This article suggests when teachers use schema learning theory within sociocultural approaches to teaching, learning, and assessment, they are able to explore children’s thinking more explicitly in their practice.

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