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ERIC Number: ED452434
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Communities/Communities of Practice. Trends and Issues Alert No. 26.
Imel, Susan
The terms "learning communities" and "communities of practice" are being used with increasing frequency to describe the phenomenon of groups (communities) of individuals learning together. Theories focusing on the social nature of cognition and meaning, as opposed to those focusing on individual learning, are stressed. In works on the social nature of learning, students and teachers are considered social and cultural actors, and the process and content of learning are considered intertwined. It has been suggested that the term "community" can mask the privileging of homogeneity because many communities are created around common interests and bonds. According to such thinking, community is a form of relationship between people. When thought of as a relationship, the interaction among community, discourse, and culture is critical to understanding community. Several ethical questions arise in learning that is situated, including the effect of many models used in workplace education and training. Such models may keep newcomers on the periphery and transmit only technical and instrumental knowledge. Inconsistencies have been noted between communities of practice in higher education and adult education that create conflicts with many assumptions underlying the field of adult education. (A 22-item annotated bibliography constitutes approximately 75% of this document.) (MN)
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Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.