NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ785602
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0260-1370
Adult Learners and Professional Development: Peer-to-Peer Learning in a Networked Community
Guldberg, Karen
International Journal of Lifelong Education, v27 n1 p35-49 Jan 2008
This paper analyses how adult learners on a professional development course learn and develop through online dialogue. The research uses Wenger's community of practice framework, and assesses whether the concept of "legitimate peripheral participation" is useful in relation to this specific case study in which the students are practitioners and parents of individuals with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). The study focuses on peer-to-peer learning and analyses a sample of asynchronous online discussions from three separate online tutorial groups. The first part of the study combines quantitative analysis of distribution patterns, with qualitative discourse analysis that measures central concepts associated with communities of practice. The second part of the study addresses whether the concept of "legitimate peripheral participation" is useful in this context. The contribution of one key individual in each group is analysed in order to provide a narrative about how that person communicates with the others, shares values and repertoires with them and gradually becomes a central member of the community. The data supports the notion that these forms of interaction and approaches to learning can favour the construction of knowledge and help to develop reflective skills and a sense of "togetherness" in the group through sharing stories with one another, developing identity through the discussions and through this enabling the development of community. The findings indicate that the learners are provided with opportunities to consider the strengths and weaknesses of ideas from multiple perspectives and that key students play a role in enabling other students to move from a position of legitimate peripheral participation to becoming full members of the community. (Contains 6 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A