One can design systems of accountability and policies for communities
of practice to live by, but one Cannot design the practices that
will emerge in response to such institutional systems. One can design
roles, but one cannot design the identities that will be constructed
through these roles One can design visions, but one cannot design the
allegiance necessary to align energies behind those visions. One can
produce affordances' for the negotiation of meaning, but not meaning
itself One can design work processes but not work practices; one can
design a curr iculum but not learning One can attempt to institutionalize
a community of practice, but the community of practice itself will
slip through the cracks and remain distinct hom its institutionalization
. (Wenger, 229)
I haven't written much about design over the semester because I don't feel that I have mastered the concept. However, I am going to take the above quote and apply it to our class. When Scott and Cole first introduced this class, it was labeled the "grand experiment". Their established practices to live by included reading assignments from Thursday through Monday and posting a reaction by Monday at 5pm. On Tuesday, by 5pm, the class was supposed to react to peer's postings. Our fearless leaders could not have antipated the community this class and these practices have produced.
In creating these guidelines, they have attempted to facilitate learning. It is very hard to put a label on exactly what we have learned this semester, but I feel that is because the learning that has taken place is can not be measured by traditional means. Personally, I have internalized and questioned the concepts of community, identity, and design. The meaning of these concepts that we have negotiated through our interactions have been, and still are, changing while we add to our knowlege base. As instructors, they have allowed us the freedom to converse and add to the curriculum. They had no way of predicting the quantity and quality of conversation that has taken place outside of the classroom or the relationships that have formed as a result of their intial set of practices. They could not design the alligences to the members of our community.
We have aligned ourselves in a way that is unlike many academic classes in my career. As we part for the summer, the community of practice that we have established will modify itself to settings outside the classroom. As Wenger suggests, it will become distinct from the institution of its birth. However, it will continue.
Attempting to Design Knowledge and Learning
TrackBack URL: https://blogs.psu.edu/mt4/mt-tb.cgi/149409