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ERIC Number: EJ915995
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1389-224X
Social Learning among Organic Farmers and the Application of the Communities of Practice Framework
Morgan, Selyf Lloyd
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, v17 n1 p99-112 Feb 2011
The paper examines social learning processes among organic farmers and explores the application of the Community of Practice (CoP) model in this context. The analysis employed utilises an approach based on the CoP model, and considers how, or whether, this approach may be useful to understand social learning among farmers. The CoP model is applied to case studies of social learning fora among organic farmers. The case studies are compiled from in-depth semi-structured interviews and participant observation with farmers and other actors, and the data are analysed with reference to three dimensions of the CoP model, namely mutual engagement, joint enterprise and shared repertoires. Farmers associate and engage in social learning more readily with peers determined by similar attitudes to farm business, farming styles and understanding of what organic agriculture entails. Such associations support the hypothesis that CoPs are self-organising structures that generate their knowledge in sympathy with community definition and identity. A CoP framework applied within relatively unstructured and dispersed communities, such as described in this paper, emphasises the fluid nature of CoPs, and their essentially self-organising nature. Extension approaches may be facilitated by regarding farmers as de-facto members of CoPs and by understanding how CoPs may form and develop. The CoP model is applied as a heuristic to examine social learning processes in organic farming. (Contains 6 notes and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Wales)