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Standards or communities of practice? Competing models of workplace learning and development

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Drawing on interview data derived from two case studies of teachers in their first year in the profession, this article examines the difficulties that confront new teachers as they move from a Postgraduate Certificate in Education course into their first teaching post. It questions the value of those discursive practices, promulgated by the Teacher Training Agency through Qualifying to teach, that construct teaching as a set of discrete competences or standards, and argues that Lave and Wenger's (1991) concepts of legitimate peripheral participation and communities of practice are useful tools with which to analyse the sociocultural complexity of the new teachers' experiences.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Education, University of London, UK

Publication date: 2007-08-01

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