Learning in landscapes of practice: Boundaries, identity, and knowledgeability in practice-based learning
This source preferred by Donald Nordberg
Authors: Nordberg, D.
Journal: Management Learning
During a visit to a lawyer, the host points to a collection of books on the shelf, thick volumes, impressive. This is the “body of knowledge” of the profession. In recounting this story, Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner decide, first, that they are glad not to be lawyers. It’s a lot to remember even in outline, let alone to learn by rote. Second, they decide the expression “body of knowledge” may be convenient but it is a misleading shorthand for something rather more complex. Knowledge is not a shelf full of writing. It is not static, not handed down intact. Knowledge is created and learning takes place through the interaction of people working at the boundaries, where disciplines intersect and practitioners meet. That encounter and the thoughts it generated have led to another book on the shelf, but one that tries hard not to be a book of the conventional sort. The Wenger-Trayners share authorship with three colleagues on the title page and with a further 28 people who contributed to its nine chapters and 161 pages of text. These are the people who tell their stories, about their learning, in their own areas of practice. But authorship is perhaps the wrong word, for this is a book striving to be a conversation, like those that took place in the workshops that led to creation of the book. Moreover, the participants invite us, the readers, to join them in carrying the conversation forward. So in that spirit, let’s set aside the formalities of a book review and converse.