Theories of Practice and Their Connections with Learning: A Continuum of More and Less Inclusive Accounts

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Practice, Learning and Change: Practice-Theory Perspectives on Professional Learning, 2012, 1, pp. 17 - 32
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The term `practice has been used increasingly in the social and behavioural sciences literatures. Yet, it is also apparent that there is often wide diversity both in the meaning and scope of the ways in which this term is deployed. This chapter discusses and analyses this situation in terms of a continuum ranging from `more inclusive to `less inclusive accounts of practice. The more inclusive accounts apply the term practice liberally to human actions of many kinds, whereas the less inclusive accounts restrict the term to human activities that meet very specific and complex criteria. This chapter examines the different assumptions that underpin more inclusive and less inclusive accounts, as well as the kinds of activities that they number amongst practices. The chapter concludes by considering the implications of these different accounts of practice for our understanding of what is involved in the learning of a practice.
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