Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education

2020 Edition
| Editors: Stephen Lerman

Communities of Practice in Mathematics Teacher Education

  • Merrilyn GoosEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15789-0_26


Communities of practice in mathematics teacher education are informed by a theory of learning as social participation, in which teacher learning and development are conceptualized as increasing participation in social practices that develop an identity as a teacher.


The idea of learning in a community of practice grew from Jean Lave’s and Etienne Wenger’s research on learning in apprenticeship contexts (Lave 1988; Lave and Wenger 1991). Drawing on their ethnographic observations of apprentices learning different trades, Lave and Wenger developed a theory of learning as social practice to describe how novices come to participate in the practices of a community. These researchers introduced the term “legitimate peripheral participation” to explain how apprentices, as newcomers, are gradually included in the community through modified forms of participation that are accessible to potential members working alongside master practitioners. Although social practice...


Mathematics teacher education Communities of practice Identity 
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationThe University of QueenslandSt. Lucia, BrisbaneAustralia