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Which clippings match 'Etienne Wenger' keyword pg.1 of 1
28 DECEMBER 2013

Connectivist Learning Theory

"A central tenet of most learning theories is that learning occurs inside a person. Even social constructivist views, which hold that learning is a socially enacted process, promotes the principality of the individual (and her/his physical presence–i.e. brain–based) in learning. These theories do not address learning that occurs outside of people (i.e. learning that is stored and manipulated by technology)... In a networked world, the very manner of information that we acquire is worth exploring. The need to evaluate the worthiness of learning something is a meta–skill that is applied before learning itself begins. When knowledge is subject to paucity, the process of assessing worthiness is assumed to be intrinsic to learning. When knowledge is abundant, the rapid evaluation of knowledge is important. The ability to synthesize and recognize connections and patterns is a valuable skill. Including technology and connection making as learning activities begins to move learning theories into a digital age. We can no longer personally experience and acquire learning that we need to act. We derive our competence from forming connections. Karen Stephenson states: 'Experience has long been considered the best teacher of knowledge. Since we cannot experience everything, other people's experiences, and hence other people, become the surrogate for knowledge. 'I store my knowledge in my friends' is an axiom for collecting knowledge through collecting people.

Connectivism is the integration of principles explored by chaos, network, and complexity and self–organization theories"

(George Siemens, P2P Foundation)


accepted knowledge • Albert Bandura • Albert-Laszlo Barabasi • Andrew Clark • Brent Davis • Chris Jones • collective knowledge • complexity of views • connection forming • connections and patterns • connectivism • conventional wisdom • Dave Cormier • David Rumelhart • David Wileydigital age • embodied cognition • Ernst von GlasersfeldEtienne Wengerevaluate and select • evaluate worthiness • evaluation skills • Gavriel Salomon • George Siemens • heedful interrelating • I store my knowledge with my friendsindividualismisolated individualJames Gibson • James McClelland • Jean Lave • Jerome Bruner • Karen Stephenson • Karl Weick • know-how • know-what • know-who • knowledge collectionknowledge commons • knowledge evaluation • knowledge synthesis • learning is socially enacted • learning theory • Lev VygotskyLudwig Wittgenstein • Mark Mason • Marshall McLuhan • Martin de Laat • Marvin Minsky • meta-analysismetacognition • Michael Spivey • Neil Postmannetwork societynetworked world • networks are everywhere • P2P Foundation • patterns of connections • patterns of knowledgepaucity • Paul Churchland • recognition rules • Ronald Barnett • Roy Pea • self-organisation theories • self-organising systemsensemaking • Seymour Papert • shared knowledge • shared learning interests • situated learning • social cognitive theory • social construction of knowledge • social learning theory • social-constructivist approach • Starr-Roxanne Hiltz • systems thinkingwicked problems


Simon Perkins
03 JULY 2009

Communities of practice and habitus: A critique

"'The conditionings associated with a particular class of conditions of existence produce habitus, systems of durable, transposable dispositions, structured structures predisposed to function as structuring structures, that is, as principles which generate and organize practices and representations that can be objectively adapted to their outcomes without presupposing a conscious aiming at ends or an express mastery of the operations necessary in order to attain them. Objectively 'regulated' and 'regular' without being in any way the product of obedience to rules, they can be collectively orchestrated without being the product of the organizing action of a conductor.' (Bourdieu 1990: 53)

If we explore this statement, we see, first, an explicit link between patterns of thought and social conditions. Particular forms of social condition produce particular forms of habitus. The habitus is in turn not so much a content as a set of principles, principles which are embodied, expressed in the hauteur of the aristocrat or the stance of the peasant. Rather than a focus on particular contexts in which principles can be employed, the emphasis is on the way in which a similar set of principles is employed across contexts, is 'applied, by simple transfer, to the most dissimilar areas of practice' (Bourdieu 1986: 175). A crucial factor in this application is then whether they are appropriate to the particular rules of the game. Bourdieu is particularly concerned to stress the practical mastery of the rules of the game and the effortless performance of rules without the recognition that such rules are being followed. The rules emerge from the ebb and flow of practice and are inherent in the relations that operate in a particular field. 'There is', argues Bourdieu (1990: 50), 'an economy of practices, a reason immanent in practices, whose 'origin' lies neither in the 'decisions' of reason understood as rational calculation nor in the determinations of mechanisms external to and superior to the agents.' However, the ability to employ the appropriate strategies depends on the tacit acquisition of generative principles that depend on social position. Those from different social conditions will tend to respond in the same way, because of the objective conditions of existence that they share (Bourdieu 1990: 58). Their early experiences will be crucial in determining their future responses, as they will tend to react to new experiences by assimilating them to the generative principles they acquired (Bourdieu 1990: 60). The focus on practice is clearly attractive to those developing the notion of communities of practice (Wenger 1999: 281 note 6), but we need to recognize that for Bourdieu habitus is prior to practice a nd regulates it. This seems to give problems for conceptions that privilege the development of modes of operation through practice. If habitus, as Bourdieu has it, is acquired at an early stage in an unconscious fashion and is resistant to change, then the issue is the interaction between habitus and practice, rather than its creation through practice."
(Alistair Mutch, 2003)


communities of practiceCoPdispositionsEtienne Wengerhabitus • hauteur • organisation studies • organisational communication • patterns of thoughtPierre Bourdieusocial conditions


Simon Perkins
07 FEBRUARY 2009

Legitimate Peripheral Participation within Communities of Practice

"Newcomers' legitimate peripherality provides them with more than an "observational" lookout post: It crucially involves participation as a way of learning – of both absorbing and being absorbed in – the "culture of practice." An extended period of legitimate peripherality provides learners with opportunities to make the culture of practice theirs. From a broadly peripheral perspective, apprentices gradually assemble a general idea of what constitutes the practice of the community. This uneven sketch of the enterprise (available if there is legitimate access) might include who is involved; what they do; what everyday life is like; how masters talk, walk, work, and generally conduct their lives; how people who are not part of the community of practice interact with it; what other learners are doing; and what learners need to learn to become full practitioners. It includes an increasing understanding of how, when, and about what old–timers collaborate, collude, and collide, and what they enjoy, dislike, respect, and admire. In particular, it offers exemplars (which are grounds and motivation for learning activity), including masters, finished products, and more advanced apprentices in the process of becoming full practitioners"
(Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger p. 95)

Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (Eds.). (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Simon Perkins
28 JANUARY 2005

Communities Of Practice Learning As A Social System

"Communities of practice are everywhere. We all belong to a number of them at work, at school, at home, in our hobbies. Some have a name, some don't. We are core members of some and we belong to others more peripherally. You may be a member of a band, or you may just come to rehearsals to hang around with the group. You may lead a group of consultants who specialise in telecommunication strategies, or you may just stay in touch to keep informed about developments in the field. Or you may have just joined a community and are still trying to find your place in it. Whatever form our participation takes, most of us are familiar with the experience of belonging to a community of practice. Members of a community are informally bound by what they do together from engaging in lunchtime discussions to solving difficult problem and by what they have learned through their mutual engagement in these activities. A community of practice is thus different from a community of interest or a geographical community, neither of which implies a shared practice. A community of practice defines itself along three dimensions:
1). What it is about its joint enterprise as understood and continually renegotiated by its members
2). How it functions – mutual engagement that bind members together into a social entity
3). What capability it has produced the shared repertoire of communal resources (routines, sensibilities, artefacts, vocabulary, styles, etc.) that members have developed over time."

(Etienne Wenger)



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