Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Invitation to attend two seminars with Dr Etienne Wenger at UWC on 7 June 2007

We are pleased to invite you to two seminars that will be held with Dr Etienne Wenger at University of Western Cape on 07 June. Dr Wenger is a leading scholar and expert in social learning theory. Together with Jean Lave he originated the concept of 'communities of practice' that focuses on the social nature of learning and its applications in the world of work. Dr Wenger continues to develop the theoretical and practical applications of communities of practice (CoP) through engagement with research, academic and work-based networks and projects.

Dr Wenger will lead two seminars at UWC. The first is a morning seminar which will provide a valuable introduction and update on the CoP concept and its more recent applications. The second is an afternoon seminar for those who are involved in more specialised applications of the concept in academic and professional settings. Details of the two events with information on how to reply to this invitation are provided in the attached documents (below). The seminars are hosted by SAQA in association with the Centre for Adult and Continuing Education at UWC and the Centre for Higher Education Development at UCT.

For planning and catering purposes please let us know soon whether you are planning to attend either or both of these seminars.

See below for RSVP details.

Tony Carr
Staff Development Co-ordinator
Centre for Educational Technology
Centre for Higher Education Development
University of Cape Town Cape Town South Africa
+27 21 6505033

INVITATION to a morning seminar with Dr Etienne Wenger on Social Learning Theory and Communities of Practice

Purpose: To introduce the concept of ‘communities of practice’ and to explore how it is applied in different contexts.

Participants: Anyone from an educational, professional, corporate or organisational background who is interested in the concept and practical application of ‘communities of practice’ and the learning theory it represents. The concept has special currency and prominence across a range of professional programmes, learnerships, knowledge management systems, staff and community development projects.

Date and Time: 07 June from 09:00 - 12:30
Venue: The Senate Building, University of the Western Cape, Bellville.

09:00 Registration and Refreshments
09:30 Welcome to the Seminar (UWC - SAQA)
10:00 Introduction to social learning theory and communities of practice.
(Dr Wenger)
11:00 Short Break
11:15 Dialogue on local experiences and new applications
12:15 Closure followed by light lunch
RSVP: Please confirm your attendance with Tania Oppel by telephone on (021)959-3339 or by E-mail at

This seminar is jointly hosted by the South African Qualifications Authority, SAQA; the Division for Lifelong Learning, UWC; and the Centre for Higher Education Development, University of Cape Town.

Invitation to an afternoon seminar with Dr Etienne Wenger on Social Learning Theory and Communities of Practice

Purpose: To provide researchers and specialists in the field of social learning theory and practice with an opportunity to interact and engage with Dr Etienne Wenger around some of the critical learning challenges posed by developments in South Africa and globally in the 21st Century.

Participants: Participants in this seminar will be reasonably familiar with Dr Wenger’s work and will have specific academic, research, programme or professional interests and questions that they wish to discuss with him. The seminar will take the form of a dialogue around key questions and insights raised by participants and by Dr Wenger in his more recent work.

Process: The seminar will commence with a few opening remarks from the Chair, Mr Tony Carr (UCT), in which he will table a number of questions recruited from participants in advance of the seminar. Dr Wenger will lead with his response to these questions and will present his thoughts on new research possibilities as outlined in the Paper ‘Learning for a small planet: a research agenda’.

This paper will be sent to all who RSVP as requested below.

Date and Time: 07 June, 2007 from 14:00 - 16:00
Venue: The Senate Building, University of the Western Cape, Bellville.

RSVP: Please complete the reply slip and return by E-mail to Tony Carr at or Alan Ralphs at

To attend the afternoon seminar with Dr Etienne Wenger
on 07 June 2007 from 14:00-16:00

Name ***********************..
Landline ********or Cell Phone: ********

Please provide a brief synopsis of your background and interest/application in the COP concept which we could make available to Dr Wenger before the seminar

Please provide on or two comments or questions on the COP concept or its application which you would like to be discussed at the seminar?

Kindly cut and paste this reply slip into an Email and send to Tony Carr at or Alan Ralphs at