Although social groups have long been the subject of Vygotskian-inspired research, as in Luria’s early study of urban, rural and homeless children, there has been little work on low-income learners as a social group within the activity context of the school, particularly with the school understood as a social field in which social relations mediate learning. As Dewey began urging over a century ago, educators must take more account of the social dimension in schooling, and a place to focus is on the social relations between students and teachers. Similarly, feminists and many social scientists have criticized the absence of social considerations in numerous domains of study. Although Vygotskian inspired approaches aim to situate the individual in social, cultural and historical context, I suggest that sociocultural approaches to learning give greater consideration also to the social conception of the learner and to the relations of learning if a fully adequate theory of learning is to be constructed for education.
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