The Open UniversitySkip to content

Working at community boundaries: a micro-analysis of the activist's role in participatory learning networks

Thorpe, Mary and Kubiak, Chris (2007). Working at community boundaries: a micro-analysis of the activist's role in participatory learning networks. Studies in the Education of Adults, 37(2) pp. 151–165.

Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The interaction of agency and context in workplace learning is explored through a micro analysis of the implementation of Networked Learning Communities in schools in England. Evidence of co-participation between individuals’ response, and their workplace roles and experience can be seen in the interviews of local activists as they take up the opportunity to create a Networked Learning Community for their schools. Issues are raised about the community of practice model as promoted for workplace learning, with its emphasis on group participation rather than individual agency. Activists make strategic use of existing power relationships in order to facilitate networked learning, and develop skills in influencing and communicating across existing practice communities. Sustaining the network also depends on continuing intervention and strong support from activists’ personal community of trusted peers and colleagues, with whom values and goals are shared. The opportunities, challenges and risks of using a networked approach to foster workplace learning are explored.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 0266-0830
Keywords: workplace learning; communities of practice; networks; disposition; co-participation;
Academic Unit/Department: Institute of Educational Technology
Health and Social Care > Health and Social Care
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 6451
Depositing User: Mary Thorpe
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2010 19:56
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340