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Computer Science - Information Systems and Applications | Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice

Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice

Blackmore, Chris (Ed.)

2010, XII, 247 p. 17 illus.

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  • Brings together some potentially powerful ideas about social and systemic change and how people do and can work and learn together for their mutually agreed purposes
  • The combination of classical and contemporary ideas sets it apart
  • Uses the language of ‘social learning systems’ as distinct from social learning or learning systems which appear elsewhere
  • Approaches social learning from a ‘systems’ perspective, using a range of systems concepts and theories explicitly

Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice is a collection of classical and contemporary writing associated with learning and systemic change in contexts ranging from cities, to rural development to education to nursing to water management to public policy. It is likely to be of interest to anyone trying to understand how to think systemically and to act and interact effectively in situations experienced as complex, messy and changing. While mainly concerned with professional praxis, where theory and practice inform each other, there is much here that can apply at a personal level.

This book offers conceptual tools and suggestions for new ways of being and acting in the world in relation to each other, that arise from both old and new understandings of communities, learning and systems. Starting with twentieth century insights into social learning, learning systems and appreciative systems from Donald Schön and Sir Geoffrey Vickers, the book goes on to consider the contemporary traditions of critical social learning systems and communities of practice, pioneered by Richard Bawden and Etienne Wenger and their colleagues. A synthesis of the ideas raised, written by the editor, concludes this reader. The theory and practice of social learning systems and communities of practice appear to have much to offer in influencing and managing systemic change for a better world.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Appreciative systems - Bawden - Communities of practice - Critical social learning systems - Learning systems - Schön - Social learning - Social learning systems - Vickers - Wenger - identity - learning - management - sustainability

Related subjects » Computer Science - General Issues - Information Systems and Applications

Table of contents 

List of Figures.- Acknowledgements.- Introduction.- Part I Early Traditions of Social Learning Systems.- 1. Government as a Learning System.- 2. Insights into Appreciation and Learning Systems.- Part II Critical Social Learning Systems – The Hawkesbury Tradition.- 3. The Community Challenge: The Learning Response.- 4. Sustainability, Social Learning and the Democratic Imperative: Lessons from the Australian Landcare Movement.- 5. Traditions of Understanding: Language, Dialogue and Experience.- 6. Messy Issues, Worldviews and Systemic Competencies.- Part III Communities of Practice.- 7. Our World as a Learning System: A Communities-of-practice Approach.- 8. Conceptual Tools for CoPs as Social Learning Systems: Boundaries, Identity, Trajectories and Participation.- 9. Learning Nursing in the Workplace Community: The Generation of Professional Capital.- 10. Graduate Professional Education from a Community of Practice Perspective: The Role of Social and Technical Working.- 11. Communities of Practice and Social Learning Systems: The Career of a Concept.- Part IV Synthesis.- 12. Managing Systemic Change: What Future Roles for Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice?.- Index

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