A Research based on case studies of online second language learning in ?communities of practice?
The background for this paper is a growing interest during the past decade in Denmark in the concepts of ?situated learning?, ?social theory of learning? and ?learning in communities of practice? developed by the American social anthropologist Jean Lave and the Californian Research Scientist Etienne Wenger. The work by Jean Lave from 1988 (Lave, 1988) based on anthropological field studies in Brazil and Liberia as well as later works by Lave & Wenger (Lave and Wenger, 1991; Chaiklin and Lave, 1993; Wenger, 1998; Wenger, McDermott, R. and W. Snyder, 2002) on situated learning and social learning theory have provoked considerable response in anthropological studies, in learning theories as well as in considerations about practical implementation of concepts like ?lifelong learning? in Denmark in recent decades. The European concept of ?lifelong learning? has had a big impact on educational thinking, including teacher education. In addition to this, IT has been playing a continuously growing role within all sectors of education during the same period. Thus, within the development of ?e-learning?, and ?computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL)? the concepts of collaborative and scaffolded learning (Wood, Bruner & Ross, 1976; Bruner, 1985; Bruner 1996; Kaye, 1992; Meyer, 1993; Sorensen, 1999) and ?learning in communities of practice? have deeply inspired and to a certain degree become a sort of theoretical and practical framework in Denmark with respect to development of web based materials and web based learning platforms (Agertoft 2003; Bang & Dalsgaard, 2005). In the paper some aspects of the partly global and the particular Danish development will be investigated at a theoretical and practical level in order to indicate tendencies for changing roles and demands of teachers in a modern world. Furthermore, some of the concepts of Lave and Wenger's situated learning theories will be described as well as a case study of Internet based second language learning in a ?virtual community of practice? will be presented. At the end of the paper the relevance of the theoretical concepts to changing demands of teacher education will be discussed.
Iste Proceedings From the 26th Annual Seminar, Stellenbosch, South Africa, April 2006, 2006
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Iste Proceedings From the 26th Annual Seminar, Stellenbosch, South Africa, April 2006