Tuesday, June 8, 2010

PL 20/10: Practical communities

Filed under: Uncategorized — plinius @ 6:24 am

Talking and walking are separate actitivties

But the way we talk may influence the way we walk. That’s why people fight about words. One woman’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.

People that use the concept community of practice rather than – say – service institution or the heart of the university – make an important choice.

Communities are not markets. Practices are not theories. The world is made rather than given.

As I see it.

The choice is explicit when you are aware of the variety of conceptual models (mental maps, frameworks, perspectives, Weltanschauungen …) available.

The choice is implicit if it feels right (touches a cord).


In the Middle Ages universities were explicitly created as a communities of practice. Professors and students are united in scholarly pursuit.

Libraries are

  • parts of these communities
  • supporting scholarly activities (past)
  • participating in scholarly activities (future)

But scholarly activities – teaching, learning, research – are changing

  • in themselves
  • in their relationship with the environment (economy, society, polity)

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