Learning Environments – Week 9 – Reading Assignment


“Situated Learning” by Jean Lave & Etienne Wenger – dense!


“Viewing learning as legitimate peripheral participation means that learning is not merely a condition for membership, but is itself an evolving form of membership. We conceive of identities as long-term, living relations between persons and their place and participation in communities of practice. Thus identity, knowing, and social membership entail one another.” (Lave & Wenger, Ch. 2)

This conceptual lens of viewing learning as a social practice remits to the concept of collective consciousness (Durkheim, E., 1893) and collective intelligence. It places knowledge in the ether between practitioners and apprentices, within their interactions, and along their life cycle. Learning should not to be viewed as a mechanical process of internalization, but as a social and interactive process within a space and context.

When thinking about education technologies, one might want pay closer attention to social interaction affordances their product might offer. How can a newcomer begin to interact with older members. What are the norms and rules of engagement made available to promote learning as a communal process? How can the learner interact with others in novel ways that will promote legitimate peripheral participation?