Friday, December 19, 2008

Communities of practice

Many of the explanations of how learning occurs start with the assumption that learning is something that happens to individuals. Learning theories that explain situated cogition are based on the fact that learning happens as people interact with the living world. Situated learning describes the notion of learning knowledge and skills in contexts that reflect the way they will be used in real life.

Lave and Wenger proposed that efficient learning was not a solitary activity, but a process of engagement in a "community of practice." Instead of examing learning as the acquisition of skills and knowledge, they asked what kind of practical contexts and social engagements provide the framework for effective learning to take place.

In studying different apprenticeships, they found that rather than a master/apprentice relationship there was actually a complex 'community of practice'. Attaining mastery in the field involved beginning on the periphery of the community, and then gradually becoming a full participant in the community of practice.

1 comment: said...


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Have fun!
Heather S