One more intro to Communities of Practice & learning therein (3/3)

This introduction is a little heavier on the terminology, but includes a good video and a useful table (which Amplify won’t reliably paste for me)

Communities of Practice

The idea of communities of practice (CoP) is that learning occurs in social contexts that emerge and evolve when people who have common goals interact as they strive towards those goals. The concept of communities of practice is commonly credited to Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger who originated the construct legitimate peripheral participation in their studies of apprenticeship situations. From their development of legitimate peripheral participation, they created the term “community of practice” to refer to the communities of practitioners into which newcomers would enter and attempt to learn the sociocultural practices of the community.

For Etienne Wenger, learning is central to human identity. A primary focus of Wenger’s work is on learning as social participation – the individual as an active participant in the practices of social communities, and in the construction of his/her identity through these communities. From this understanding develops the concept of the community of practice: a group of individuals participating in communal activity, and experiencing/continuously creating their shared identity through engaging in and contributing to the practices of their communities.


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