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Beyond Communities of Practice: Language, Power, and Social Context


reviewed by Jo Anne Kleifgen — March 05, 2007

coverTitle: Beyond Communities of Practice: Language, Power, and Social Context
Author(s): David Barton & Karin Tusting (Eds.)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, New York
ISBN: 0521544920 , Pages: 256, Year: 2005
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Buzzwords have a way of making the rounds. Recently, in the context of a university’s strategic planning, a dean invoked the term “communities of practice,” which in the business world is applied to the design of work environments and knowledge-management systems that offer a competitive advantage. Ironically, a term originating in academia and taken up by management had circled back to the university setting with a new corporate veneer. The original idea behind Communities of Practice (CoP) was developed by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (1991), who were primarily interested in re-conceptualizing learning as a socially-situated activity, a process of participation that moves gradually from being legitimately peripheral to being fully engaged in a community’s practice. The CoP concept receives detailed treatment in Beyond Communities of Practice: Language, Power, and Social Context, a collection edited by David Barton and Karin Tusting. As the word “beyond” in the title suggests, the contributing... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: March 05, 2007
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 13742, Date Accessed: 11/23/2014 12:45:27 AM

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About the Author
  • Jo Anne Kleifgen
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    JO ANNE KLEIFGEN is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and co-director of the Center for Multiple Languages and Literacies. She has conducted research on discourse in classrooms and the workplace, the language of the Internet, and the use of new technologies to support bilingualism and biliteracy for ethnolinguistic minorities. Her work has been published in a number of journals, such as Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Discourse Processes, Research on Language and Social Interaction, and Reading Research Quarterly. She is currently working on a project funded by the Kellogg Foundation to help Latino middle school students in New York City develop their academic literacy.
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