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Learning in landscapes of practice: recent developments in social learning theory

Doctoral Masterclass by Professor Etienne Wenger at the Centre for Translation & Intercultural Studies, University of Manchester, on 28 February 2014.  

Abstract: Learning is often viewed as something individuals do as they acquire information and skills. It is usually associated with some form of instruction. I will present a different perspective on learning, one that starts with the assumption that learning is an inherent dimension of everyday life and that it is fundamentally a social process. From this perspective, a living “body of knowledge” can be viewed as a collection of communities of practice. Learning is not merely the acquisition of a curriculum, but a journey across this landscape of practice, which is transformative of the self. Achieving a high level of "knowledgeability" is a matter of negotiating a productive identity with respect to the various communities of practice that constitute this landscape. This interactive masterclass will review the main elements of this learning theory ways as well as more recent developments. Then we will explore the implications for the research of participants.

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