Posts Tagged ‘Community of practice’

Ownership of the learningprocess in Communities of Practice

As been told in the weblog of Gerlinde we spent quit a time discussing about informal and formal learning. Can Communities Of Practice be build into a formal learning situation? For example in a curriculum of a highschool, in a way to direct the learning process of the students. I am triggered by some things Etienne Wenger said on this subject.

Etienne made clear that in a Community of Practice (COP):

  • people meet as learning partners
  • learning partners in the COP have the ownership of their own learningproces


So, when you organize COP’s in a school in order to achieve certain learninggoals by students, the students no longer are the owner of their learningproces. In stead of this you try from outside this community to direct their learningproces. 

There is a difference in using ‘social media’ and ‘COP’.  Referring to the thoughts above I think the last cannot be used in a formal learning process to achieve predetermined learning goals. But maybe some other kind of using social media can be formalized in a curriculum.

On the other hand, when you organize COP’s in a formal learning situation, you let students experience a new way of learning which they can benefit from the rest of their learning life.