This chapter looks at how communities of practice develop online. The author analyses online activity of two online communities and how they have both developed communities of practice as outlined by Wenger in Communities of practice : learning, meaning, and identity (1999). This chapter is older than most of my reading material but it does provide some interesting insights into community formation and how identity can be built through membership of a community. The example communities are an online wiccan group made up primarily of teenage girls and a group set up for young ME sufferers. Both groups have a “strong identity of who they are and who they are not”. The success of these communities may be a result of how the community negotiated these parameters.
If my Facebook group is to succeed in creating a genuine community the members of that group will have to negotiate what it is to be and how they are to interact with it. Providing them with this space will be my role as a supervisor but it will ultimately be decided by the students themselves.
Davies, J. `”Hello newbie! **big welcome hugs** hope u like it here as much as i do! ” An exploration of teenagers´ informal on-line learning´. In Buckingham, D. and Willett, R. (Eds.) Digital Generations. New York: Lawrence Ehrlbaum. (Pp 211 – 228)
This week we discussed the learning theories of behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism and social-constructivism. My undergraduate degree included a psychology component so much of it was familiar though it had been a while. It was an interesting experience trying to remember the famous names associated with each of the learning theories as they were mentioned. As an undergrad I probably leaned more towards behaviorism. In retrospect that was probably due to the strong behaviorist structure of my own primary and secondary education.
I was asked to reflect on what learning theory my teaching practice would fall into and how the various learning theories fit into the curriculum where I teach. I am having some trouble deciding whether it is cognitivist or social constructionist or both. It could be argued that there is a behaviorist basis to it also but I think this argument could be made to almost any form of teaching as any successful teaching method should result in a change in behavior.
I think the class is certainly getting the impression that social constructivism is the most popular learning model amongst researchers and academics and that an educator dictating to a class room of silent students is not the optimum method of teaching.
We were also introduced to experiential learning styles of Kolb’s Learning cycle and Race’s ‘ripples’ model of learning and threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge. I like the idea of troublesome knowledge. It is interesting to analyse what it is that blocks a learner from being able to fully understand a new concept and how that learner can be helped.