Learning, Trajectories of Participation and Social Practice

  • Klaus N. Nielsen Department of Psychology, University of Aarhus
Keywords: learning, activity, community, practice


This article argues that personal meaning should be considered

important when addressing issues of learning.

It is claimed that meaningful learning is not primarily

intra-psychological, as suggested by humanistic psychologists

and parts of cognitive psychology, but is an

integrated part of the person’s participation in various

social practices. Inspired by critical psychology and

situated learning, it is suggested that in order to comprehend

what people in everyday life experience as meaningful,

we have to understand the concerns subjects

pursue across different contextual settings and the kind

of conduct of everyday life they try to realise. A case

example from an ongoing research project about how

baker apprentices learn their trade is outlined in order to

exemplify some of the theoretical considerations. Two

baker apprentices, Peter and Charlotte, are presented to

illustrate how they orientate their learning activities in

the bakeries according to their future participation in the

baking trade and in relation to the conduct of everyday

life they wish to pursue.

How to Cite
Nielsen, K. (1). Learning, Trajectories of Participation and Social Practice. Outlines. Critical Practice Studies, 10(1), 22-36. Retrieved from https://tidsskrift.dk/outlines/article/view/1965