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Reason #5 to look forward to the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference 2014: Etienne Wenger-Trayner's keynote speech

1 April 2014

The keynote speech promises to offer a different way of looking at education in a research-intensive university

Etienne Wenger-Trayner UCL Teaching Learning Conference communities of practice

If you’re familiar with the phrase ‘communities of practice’ then you’ve had some exposure to the work of Dr Etienne Wenger-Trayner, an independent researcher who first coined the term in seminal social learning text Situated Learning, which he co-authored with anthropologist Jean Lave.

Ahead of his keynote speech at the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference, Etienne gave a sneak preview of what he hopes to share.

“I’m planning to first of all describe the learning theory I’ve been working on for the past 25 years, which is a social theory, based on the notion of learning as engagement with practice,” he said. “And then I’m going to use some of t concepts of that theory to argue for what being engaged in research could do for students.”

Etienne has already seen his theory put to work in a wide range of contexts, from government to business, and he’s now eager to kick off a debate about what advantages it can bring to a research-intensive university such as UCL. In particular, he will look at how using research can lead to students developing more meaningful relationships with their learning institution.

“Big organisations have used the theory to create learning systems based on peer-to-peer learning,” he explained. “It would be interesting for people in UCL to see what kind of theory works in other institutions and turn it back on university and see what can be applied from a theory that we know works in the world.”

“I hope attendees can take a away a different view of education than the one embodied in traditional university support for learners.”

You can view the full schedule for the 3 April conference at the CALT website

Further information

Reason #1: President & Provost Michael Arthur

Reason #2: the launch of UCL Arena

Reason #3: research methodology speed-dating

Reason #4: UCL does Question Time

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