Dawn Johnson and James Wilson interview Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner

1. What is social learning theory?

  • Experiential learning
  • Practice-based learning
  • Apprenticeship
  • Knowledge vs practice
  • Didactic vs practice-based
  • Problem-based learning

4. Professional identity

  • Learning as transformation of who you are
  • Knowledge as an ‘extracted from people' thing
  • ‘Learning first’ (before ‘practice’) is a mistaken view of the relationship between knowledge and practice
  • ‘Becoming’
  • Shorthand in practice

7. What does practice mean?

  • Professional practice → particular type of social practice
  • Managers don’t have a privileged perspective (even if they have privileged power)
  • Find the right balance between ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ practice/power

10. Why would we want to push CoPs at XJTLU?

  • The university has to value teaching (and explicitly state this)
  • CoP is a bad way of getting people to do what they don’t want to do
  • What are the rewards for teaching?
  • Australian example (USQ) → based on a specific problem
  • Something very practical about it → people have to see the need
  • There’s no ‘should’ in it
  • Clarity needed about strategic objectives

2. Community of practice (CoP) and learning theory

  • Instrument of curriculum delivery vs practitioner
  • Knowledge as transformative
  • Learning spaces (CoPs)
  • Core → social learning space: informed by practice & it will change their practice
  • Feedback loops into practice

5. Organisational examples of social learning and CoPs

  • Learning spaces (architecture) → social spaces
  • Measuring impact
  • Changing the place where knowledge exists
  • Power in a learning environment
  • Role of ‘community keepers’

8. Power and organisational hierarchy

  • Do orders reflect people’s practice?
  • ‘Transversal’ relations (rather than horizontal/vertical)

11. CoPs vs formal training

  • Training course is dedicated time
  • CoPs can be more difficult time-wise → less formally scheduled
  • Good idea to schedule time for CoPs
  • Give an opportunity to share common problems → turn the light on (like a matchmaker)

3. Social learning vs Reflective learning

  • Metacognition
  • Crossing boundaries
  • ‘Being different in the world’ – like a mirror

6. Committees vs CoPs

  • CoP as ‘question’, rather than ‘answer’
  • Would it be useful to think about a committee it as a CoP?
  • CoPs are not always the right thing to do
  • What keeps you up at night? – key question
  • Just do it! (Forget explaining it)
  • What’s in it for me?
  • If a CoP doesn’t serve you, don’t go!
  • Creating a collective good → the practice

9. Universities as places of learning – formal vs informal communities

  • Move away from CoPs as ‘formal’ or ‘informal’
  • CoPs go back to people in caves
  • Practice goes beyond just chat → CoPs should change practice
  • Intensity about practitioners ‘talking shop’


Add comment

Fields marked by '*' are required.
Comments are moderated. If you choose to make this comment public, it will not be visible to others until it is approved by the owner.

Reply to:

Private: This reply will only be visible to you and the author of the preceeding comment.