General Idea of situate learning: If you put a learner in a real world situation (authentic context) and interact with other people then learning occurs.
Situated learning usually involves engaging in tasks which parallel real world applications. The goal is to improve learning by motivating students and by providing a rich context for learning. It emphasizes the context and application of knowledge rather than memorizing facts (Heeter, 2005).
In 1988, Lave showed that housewives in Irvine, California who could successfully do the mathematics needed for comparison shopping were UNABLE to do the same mathematics when they were placed inside a classroom environment (Wikipedia, 2008a).
A learning environment is considered authentic if the tasks parallel real world situations (Heeter, 2005). Situated learning theory emphasizes social interactions and authentic learning. Students who work on an authentic learning task learn associated facts and skills because they need to know these things to accomplish the task. Learners should engage in context, culture and activity that learning takes place in order to acquire, understand, develop, and implement cognitive instruments in authentic learning activity.
Recently, situated cognition theorists have been pushing for more authentic research. They argue that situating their students and research participants in authentic situations will help them achieve better research results and ultimately enhance their understanding of educational theories. Thus, situated learning usually goes beyond a real world context, and also includes other social participants in the learner experience (Heeter, 2005).