Emerging trends 2

For the workshop, previous blog, we started off using SubEthaEdit for a warm up brainstorm. It worked a treat yet again, both from the point of view of an ice breaker and at getting people to work collaboratively generating a shared document.

We then used the quote below to start a discussion as it illustrates well the false assumptions that are often made about CoP. The sub text to this quote is that when Wenger and Leave were considering what to call their theory, they were careful to steer clear from the word learning. This was because they recognised that not all communities of practice had ‘learning’, or at least what might be considered desirable learning. For example (a bit of a caricature), a group of youths in an inner city school might have a very strong CoP that is based around a culture of not learning or at least learning which might be considered unproductive.

It also illustrates the belief that some form of ‘leadership’ is required to provide the challenge to reflect and learn. It might be that this is multiple leadership with individuals taking on a variety of role. Certainly in Ultraversity we have seen this in action where researchers and learning facilitators take on different roles at different times.

“You cannot assume, again, that a community of practice is reflective, like you cannot assume that people are necessarily reflective on their actions….

You need challenges, whether the challenge is the intention of a trainer who says ‘I am going to make you reflect’, I think a community of practice can take on its own learning and create reflection.”
(Interview with Etienne Wenger, June 2002)

This diagramme below provided the framework for the workshop and some more notes are included in the extended entry.



Online paradigm grid
(John Stephenson – 2001)

Pedagogical, technological, institutional, policy


Trust, learning culture, responsibilities

“moving from the view of leaders
as the product of individual characteristics to seeing leadership as collective, shared potential”
(John West-Burnham – 2004)

Lessons for online teachers – facilitation
strategies…..time-limited activities, Induction process, modelling, taking account of role
(NCSL projects report – 2002)

“It has become clear that learning
from experience is difficult without expert, coordinated facilitation, and our programmes need to ensure structures which promote meaningful professional dialogue in order that the students can begin to construct their individual meanings”
(Terrell and Venn, 1997)


“Critically Reflective Learning is nurtured by relationships between teacher and learner, learner and learner and between both with the subject under study. We identified the optimal relationship
above, as mutual, open, challenging, contextually aware and characterised by dialogue.”
(Facilitating reflective learning Anne Brockbank & Ian McGill (1998) SRHE & OU Press)

Modelling – “Most human behavior is learned observationally through modelling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviours are performed, and on later occasion this coded information serves as a guide for action”
(Bandura – 1977)


  • Empowering
  • Disagregated
  • Matched to purpose
  • 2 thoughts on “Emerging trends 2

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s