Monday, 31 March 2014

Permaculture learning as community of practice (#journal)

Learning in the Permaculture Community of Practice in England: An Analysis of the Relationship between Core Practices and Boundary Processes

This article utilizes the Communities of Practice (CoP) framework to examine learning processes among a group of permaculture practitioners in England. The research found that permaculture practitioners are informally bound together by shared values, expertise and passion for the joint enterprise of permaculture, thus corresponding to a CoP. It found that core practices (situated learning, mutual engagement, joint enterprise and shared repertoire) are strong but also that boundary processes are active, enabling learning and interaction to take place with other learning systems, although this tends to be restricted to those with similar perspectives. This, and the strong cohesion and identity of the CoP, leads to some insularity. This research shows that the potential for the permaculture CoP to integrate with the conventional Agricultural Knowledge System is limited due to its insularity and self-reliance, in that the Permaculture Association fulfils the role of information provision and network facilitation.

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