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It is perhaps easiest to understand the importance of personal, social and cultural aspects of learning by considering how societies have historically prepared children for their adult roles as a member of a wider community. For instance agrarian and tribal societies begin to pass knowledge on to their children as soon as they are able to undertake tasks which benefit the community. Traditionally girls help with domestic tasks and boys concentrate on helping with hunting. Although such defined gender roles are seemingly at odds with current thinking concerning gender, what is highlighted is the specific knowledge which needs to be passed to the next generation for the survival of the society. In this way, children learn the skills and values necessary to be an adult member in that society. This process is called enculturation. Similarly more contemporary aspects of learning are also a process of enculturation. The diverse requirements of this process are certainly more complex, and the educational process must meet the anticipated needs of the individual as a member of an envisioned future society (the recent and ever increasing focus on ICT for example). However the aspects of learning, from the personal to the cultural are similarly geared to shaping children to belong and participate within society. The Every Child Matters agenda and similar initiatives have recently emphasised this.


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