In this chapter, we examine learning careers and communities of practice, and we focus on one of our groups of students: part-time home students in full-time work who were enrolled on the first year of a Master’s programme at a British university. Discussions about social and academic integration and the complex relationship between the two in the lives of students usually refer to the present, but Bloomer and Hodkinson (2000) suggest that it is insufficient to view learning as culturally embedded at the time it takes place. They claim that many studies of student learning lack a longitudinal perspective that incorporates past as well as present learning experiences and contexts. They introduce the term learning career to make good this oversight. In a learning career, dispositions may change over time, but are often reified, because the relationship between being a learner and other aspects of a learner’s past and present life in a learning career cannot be understood without consideration of the learner’s identity constructions and indeed identity transformations.
KeywordsLearning Community Professional Identity Learn Transition Academic Writing Autonomous Learner
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