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Community of Practice

The idea of community of practice (CoP) has been appropriated by agencies whose enterprise is concerned with teacher education. Its use as a unit of analysis has been limited. However, the Finnish activity theorist, Yrjö Engeström, has developed a theory of activity systems that may be useful for modeling a CoP. Engeström argues that a CoP is an activity system by another name. Members of an activity system transform the shared objects to produce individual and shared outcomes, learn to solve problems that disrupt their activity, transform existing practices, and develop new practices to sustain the activity system. This entry looks at the theoretical background of these ideas and then examines their implementation in education.

Intellectual Roots

Since the early 1900s, behaviorism, led by Edward Thorndike ...

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