A practice theory perspective on learning: Beyond a ‘standard’ view

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In this essay, I explore a disagreement with my friend Theodore (Ted) Schatzki about learning. Specifically, the dispute is between views of learning presented in the (2017) book edited by Peter Grootenboer, Christine Edwards-Groves and Sarojni Choy, Practice Theory Perspectives on Pedagogy and Education: Praxis, diversity, and contestation, specifically Schatzki’s ‘Chapter 2: Practices and learning’ and Kemmis, Edwards-Groves, Lloyd, Grootenboer, Hardy and Wilkinson ‘Chapter 3: Learning as being ‘stirred in’ to practices’. Schatzki thinks practice theory can accept the ‘standard’ view of learning as the acquisition of knowledge. I aim to secure an alternative view: that practice theory offers a different conception of learning as happening in the reproduction (with variation) and transformation of practices, and the production of new practices–but the argument also leads me to conclude that learning itself is not a practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-295
Number of pages16
JournalStudies in Continuing Education
Issue number3
Early online date03 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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