Understanding Practice

Author: Seth Chaiklin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521558518
Format: PDF
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Brings together the many different perspectives that have been applied to examining social context.

Engineering Societies in the Agents World VII

Author: Gregory O’Hare
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3540755241
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This book constitutes the thoroughly refereed post-proceedings of the 7th International Workshop on Engineering Societies in the Agents World, ESAW 2006, held in Dublin, Ireland. The 22 revised full papers are organized in topical sections on agent oriented system development, methodologies for agent societies, deliberative agents and social aspect, agent oriented simulation, adaptive systems, coordination, negotiation, protocols, and agents, networks and ambient intelligence.

Perspectives on Activity Theory

Author: Yrjö Engeström
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521437301
Format: PDF
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Activity theory is an interdisciplinary approach to human sciences that originates in the cultural-historical psychology school, initiated by Vygotsky, Leont'ev, and Luria. It takes the object-oriented, artifact-mediated collective activity system as its unit of analysis, thus bridging the gulf between the individual subject and the societal structure. This 1999 volume includes 26 chapters on activity theory by authors from ten countries. In Part I of the book, central theoretical issues are discussed from different points of view. Some topics addressed in this part are epistemology, methodology, and the relationship between biological and cultural factors. Part II is devoted to the acquisition and development of language. This part includes a chapter that analyzes writing activity in Japanese classrooms, and a case study of literacy skills of a man with cerebral palsy. Part III contains chapters on play, learning, and education, and Part IV addresses the meaning of technology and the development of work activities. The final part covers issues of therapy and addiction.

Beyond Communities of Practice

Author: David Barton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521544924
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The concept of 'communities of practice' (Lave and Wenger 1991, Wenger 1998) has become an influential one in education, management, and social sciences in recent years. This book consists of a series of studies by linguists and educational researchers, examining and developing aspects of the concept which have remained relatively unexplored. Framings provided by theories of language-in-use, literacy practices, and discourse extend the concept, bringing to light issues around conflict, power, and the significance of the broader social context which have been overlooked. Chapters assess the relationship between communities of practice and other theories including literacy studies, critical language studies, the ethnography of communication, socio-cultural activity theory, and sociological theories of risk. Domains of empirical research reported include schools, police stations, adult basic education, higher education, and multilingual settings. The book highlights the need to incorporate thinking around language-in-use, power and conflict, and social context into communities of practice.

Research Methods in the Social Sciences

Author: Bridget Somekh
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 1412933900
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A companion website is available for this text! "This book provides an excellent balance between theory and practical application in social research. The book works well to develop students' understanding of particular methods of inquiry, embedding them within "real world" settings. I envisage that it will help students to understand the nuances of particular approaches, the complimentarity of certain methods, and the areas of conflict/contention within social research in a way that overcomes the sometimes abstract nature of these discussions" - Dr Jon Tan, School of Education and Professional Training, Leeds Metropolitan University "This book unlocks all of the important areas of social science research in an easily digestible and stimulating style. Both students and supervisors in a range of disciplines will find this an excellent resource" - Fazal Rizvi, Professor in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Rather than being written by one or two `generalists', this innovative book is written by a large number of active researchers about their specialisms in methods/methodologies. The book introduces all the key qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and methods and seeks to draw readers into a community of researchers engaged in reflection on the research process. Included are narrative accounts of carrying out a research study that explore the way in which the research design and methods are shaped by the methodology, discussing problematic issues, and reflecting on the way in which knowledge and understanding develop. Aimed at researchers and postgraduate students, it will also be invaluable for students at masters level. Click on the companion website logo above to access additional resources and links to accompany each chapter in the book. "Research Methods in the Social Sciences is a valuable pedagogical tool. It is organized as a dialogue between theory and key concepts, and practice - stories from the field allowing novices and scholars alike to see how critical interpretive research is actually conducted" - Norman K Denzin, University of Illinois

Computation and Human Experience

Author: Philip Agre
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521386036
Format: PDF, Mobi
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By paying close attention to the metaphors of artificial intelligence and their consequences for the field's patterns of success and failure, this text argues for a reorientation of the field away from thought and toward activity. It offers a critical reconstruction of AI research.

Communities of Practice

Author: Etienne Wenger
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521663632
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Learning is becoming an urgent topic. Nations worry about the learning of their citizens, companies about the learning of their workers, schools about the learning of their students. But it is not always easy to think about how to foster learning in innovative ways. This book presents a framework for doing that, with a social theory of learning that is ground-breaking yet accessible, with profound implications not only for research, but also for all those who have to foster learning as part of their responsibilites at work, at home, at school.

Situated Learning

Author: Jean Lave
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521423748
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In this important theoretical treatist, the authors push forward the notion of situated learning - that learning is fundamentally a social process.