Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Apprenticeship ... another length of string

I've spent some time reading a paper by Lave(1999) entitled Teaching as Learning in Practice and so am considering my practice in the context of learning through apprenticeship. That's certainly the mode I'm in when considering my interaction with my learning community. The community is in some senses a Community of Practice in that we all have a common goal (though with a variation in theme) and are involved with artefacts, protocols and a developing history; we have numerous opportunities to bring boundary objects into the CoP to enhance the developing core identitiy and that of each participant. But back to apprenticeship and to Lave and Wenger's (1999) original writings on Legitimate Peripheral Participation .... we are all apprentices, novices and masters to different degrees within differently situated roles/circumstances. I feel very much the apprentice within the context of my researcher role but am seen (I think) as more expert - everthing is relative - in the context of managing HE in FE. I guess my participation in both would be legitimate (with regard to various meanings of the word) but curiously the role in which I have least expertise (researcher) and therefore a higher degree of apprenticeship will help to validate the movement towards mastery of my more 'expert' role (manager). Hmmm does that make sense? If I'm playing by Gale's rules I should write first and then read afterwards without changing what I write - erk - this could be interesting!

I had an interesting experience earlier today which left me disgruntled at the time but which provides food for thought. Can you have a CoP where the goal is so broad that participants in working towards that goal can interact on different planes and yet be part of that CoP? Hmmm. The situation has been resolved satisfactorily for all concerned but through acknowledgement of diversity of roles within the Community. Thus there are shared macro goals but differing micro goals. CoP or not?

Next activity ........more to do .......


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