Theories of Practice and Their Connections with Learning: A Continuum of More and Less Inclusive Accounts

  • Paul HagerEmail author
Part of the Professional and Practice-based Learning book series (PPBL, volume 8)


The term ‘practice’ has been used increasingly in the social and behavioural sciences literatures. Yet, it is also apparent that there is often wide diversity both in the meaning and scope of the ways in which this term is deployed. This chapter discusses and analyses this situation in terms of a continuum ranging from ‘more inclusive’ to ‘less inclusive’ accounts of practice. The more inclusive accounts apply the term practice liberally to human actions of many kinds, whereas the less inclusive accounts restrict the term to human activities that meet very specific and complex criteria. This chapter examines the different assumptions that underpin more inclusive and less inclusive accounts, as well as the kinds of activities that they number amongst practices. The chapter concludes by considering the implications of these different accounts of practice for our understanding of what is involved in the learning of a practice.


Professional Practice Standard Operating Procedure Constitutive Rule Internal Good External Good 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts & Social SciencesUniversity of Technology, SydneySydneyAustralia

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