Working with Young People is designed to help you develop the knowledge and skills you need for supporting young people as they learn about themselves, others and society and prepare for the transition to adulthood. It introduces the fundamental concepts and issues that lie at the heart of contemporary work with young people and challenges you to think deeply about: - the social context of young people - values and principles that underpin practice - the variety of settings in which practice takes place, and - the importance of informal learning in the lives of young people. Whether you are a new student or returning to study, Working with Young Poeple provides a stimulating introduction and a foundation for further study. Sheila Curran is Senior Lecturer at The Open University. Roger Harrison is Senior Lecturer at The Open University. Donald Mackinnon is Lecturer at The Open University.
Chapter 12: A Social Theory of Learning
A Social Theory of Learning
In arguing that learning is not a process of individual cognition directly related to teaching, but a social process related to our participation with others in everyday activities, this chapter questions the central assumptions of most institutions of learning. The author develops the idea of learning as participation in communities of practice, a radical perspective but one which allows us to adopt a broader and more inclusive way of looking at learning, and one which is particularly relevant to the kind of informal learning central to youth work.
Our institutions, to the extent that they address issues of learning explicitly, are largely based on the assumption that learning is an individual process, that it has ...