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Learning, instruction and assessment in the workplace: applying and augmenting Communities of Practice theory

Tummons, Jonathan

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Derived from an ethnography of workplace cultures and practices, this article rests on a critical application and augmentation of Communities of Practice theory in order to account for the ways in which the assessment of complex and heterogeneous workplace learning can be conceptualised. Exemplified through a series of vignettes constructed from the ethnographic data, the article foregrounds a variety of experiences of assessment – formal and informal – that characterise the trajectories of workers as participants within the Community of Practice. In addition to providing an account of a qualified and specialist workforce, this article also provides an exemplar for ethnographic research as a vehicle for exploring the assessment of workplace learning through Communities of Practice theory. This exploration is accomplished in two ways: firstly, through a critical use of certain paradigmatic elements of the theory; secondly, through the augmentation of the theory in order to address some of these past critiques whilst maintaining the epistemological coherence of the theory as a whole. The article concludes by arguing that Communities of Practice theory can be critically applied and augmented in order to and through the generation of ethnographic accounts that valorise the richness and complexity of the practices being assessed.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 20, 2024
Online Publication Date Jul 2, 2024
Deposit Date Jul 5, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jul 8, 2024
Journal Studies in Continuing Education
Print ISSN 0158-037X
Electronic ISSN 1470-126X
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-15
Public URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:; Received: 2023-11-03; Accepted: 2024-06-20; Published: 2024-07-02


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