One of the reasons for including the NCVA project in this work is that it shows the diversity of the research. The thesis is not about a single project – it is about a web of connection and of enablement. The thesis accounts for a web of interconnected, distributed communities of practice.
The interconnecting branching networks show how the interconnectedness of the networks of practice contributes to global learning networks. The significance of the research based in school and NCVA is that in some respects they are different but the underpinning assumptions are the same. The research shows the transferability of knowledge and more than that of the interconnected nature of human activity. The research has enquired into the inter-human condition, the ontological underpinning of communicative action (Habermas 1975).
Within NCVA I used my improved understanding of the certification processes to help others to see that they could improve their own understanding and thereby devise means of carrying out the certification of programmes promptly and reliably. Superficially this may appear like problem-solving or improvements to practice but while there are problem solving elements and there were improvements to practice, the participants within the NCVA action learning projects went further than this and developed their own living theories of practice.
In the Setanta project and the NCVA action learning project the groups of people formed communities of practice. They were involved in a learning process which was socialised and collaborative and situated in a particular context (Brown and Duguid 2000; 2002; Lave and Wenger 1991; Wenger 1998).
Habermas, J. (1975) The Legitimation crisis (trans. T. McCarthy). Boston: Beacon Press.Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991) Situated leaning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.