Purpose: Enculturation is a central and defining idea within socioculturally minded research that informs the design of school learning environments. Now, three decades since the idea has emerged in the field, the authors believe it is time to reflect on it because of several ambiguities that have emerged from its use, which is the purpose of this study Design/methodology/approach: The authors carried out a metasynthesis of learning scientists’ school enculturation discourse. This included reviewing the concept within 84 articles found in six leading and relevant learning sciences journals. Findings: This study’s findings show that school enculturation discourse is divided between those that view it unidirectionally, bidirectionally or both, and that three reifications of associated cultures (authentic, designed and traditional) together with various conduits frame the way learning environments are designed to facilitate enculturation. Research limitations/implications: This metasynthesis can help advance sociocultural research in schools by clarifying the meaning and conceptualization of a central idea in the field. Practical implications: This study can help teachers and educational researchers clarify the role that culture has in the designs of their learning environments. Social implications: Culture is a vital facet of learning; designers of learning environments need to understand the way culture interplays with learning. Originality/value: As this research shows, current school enculturation discourse is vague and often appears to be applied inconsistently. It is vital for any field to reflect on its own discourse to sharpen the conceptual tools that it uses so that it can advance.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
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- Learning sciences
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Library and Information Sciences