Prof Mark Fenton O'Creevy with Dr Etienne Wenger-Trayner at the Gateshead Ceremony

Social learning specialist honoured at OU degree ceremony

The Open University has honoured social learning theorist Dr Etienne Wenger-Trayner for his exceptional contribution to society by awarding him an honorary degree.

A globally-recognised thought leader in the field of social learning theory, communities of practice and their application to organisations, Dr Wenger-Trayner’s work influences both theory and practice in a wide range of disciplines.

A growing number of organisations in the private and public sector – including business, education, government and healthcare – now see the cultivation of communities of practice as a key component of a work-based learning strategy. Whilst in education, his work has inspired a new line of research focusing on the social nature of learning and its connections to communities, social practice and identity.

Professor Mark Fenton-O’Creevy, co-authored a recent book with Dr Wenger-Trayner said: “His work has had very wide impact on approaches to social learning theory but also to developments in practice-based learning and professional learning more widely.

In business and government, his research has revolutionised the field of knowledge management and organisational learning.

The co-authored book, Learning in Landscapes of Practice, with Dr Wenger-Trayner, Beverly Wenger-Trayner, Chris Kubiak and Steve Hutchinson, builds on his work on communities of practice and the OU’s research at its centre for Practice-based Professional Learning.

Dr Wenger-Trayner was awarded an honorary doctorate at the OU’s Gateshead degree ceremony on Saturday 24th September.