Enzo The Baker's Weblog

A sandbox fro creative writing

Future Learning Landscapes

Future Learning Landscapes:
Transforming Pedagogy through Social Software
by Catherine McLoughlin and Mark J. W. Lee
Changing learning paradigms
The potential for learning with social software tools compels us to reconsider how we
conceptualize the dynamics of student learning. Sfard (1998) distinguishes between two
metaphors of learning: the acquisition metaphor and the participation metaphor. The former
represents a passive-receptive view according to which learning is mainly a process of acquiring
chunks of information delivered, typically, by a teacher. The latter posits that learning is a
process of participating in various cultural practices and shared learning activities. According to
this view, knowledge exists not in individual minds but instead as an aspect of participation in
cultural practices. Human activity cannot be studied independently of the social contexts in
which it occurs and within which people function (Lave 1988). From this perspective, idea
generation and knowledge creation are complex and dynamic systems distributed over networks
of people, artifacts, and the affordances that surround them. As people congregate in social
groups that are bound more tightly by common interests, “communities of practice” evolve in
which people interact, communicate, and share ideas, leading to the creation of new
understandings (Wenger 1998). Learning occurs through participation in such communities as
individuals engage in conversations and activities with fellow members of the community
(Brown, Collins, and Duguid 1989).


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