Including the missing subject: Placing the personal within the community
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This chapter proposes that the key and lasting contribution of Lave and Wenger's book on situated learning is not the concept of community practice. Instead, it is their consideration of the personal within the social and the relational nature of learning through participation in the social (community) of practice that stands as its most salient legacy. In particular, in contrast to contemporaneous theories (e.g. activity systems, distributed cognition), Situated Learning explicitly identified a central and agentic place for the person in theorising about social bases of learning. It is these considerations of the person and personal and their agentic qualities that serves to advance theories of human learning, and understanding relations between individual and social. In particular, it provides a premise to elaborate how participation in activities, many of which are socially-derived and shaped, and learning is interdependent and relational. This contribution is discussed through a discussion of individuals' learning through and for work as informed by studies of participation in work and working life. It also reflects the author's personal trajectory in theorising about learning vocational knowledge through work activities.
Communities of practice: Critical perspectives
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