Jean Lave

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Jean Lave
Jean Lave, ICLS 2014 opening keynote (15057409757).jpg
OccupationSocial Anthropologist

Jean Lave is a social anthropologist who theorizes learning as changing participation in on-going changing practice. Her lifework challenges conventional theories of learning and education.

She completed her doctorate in Social Anthropology at Harvard University in 1968. She is currently a Professor Emerita of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley.[1]

Her studies of apprenticeship are recognized as a significant critique of educational psychology. She pioneered the theory of situated learning and communities of practice, with the assistance of her student Etienne Wenger.

In 1988, Lave and her students showed that grocery shoppers in Orange County, California who could successfully do the mathematics needed for comparison shopping were less able to do the same mathematics when they were presented with the same problems in a formal test. [2]


Lave's published books include:

  • Learning and Everyday Life: Access, Participation, and Changing Practice (2019)
  • Apprenticeship in Critical Ethnographic Practice (2011)
  • Understanding Practice (co-authored with Seth Chaiklin, 1993)
  • Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation (co-authored with Etienne Wenger, 1991)
  • Cognition in Practice (1988)

Wikibooks includes an introduction to Lave's ideas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ home page at Berkeley (17 September 2009 now out of date)
  2. ^ Cognition in Practice: Mind, Mathematics and Culture in Everyday Life (Learning in Doing)" by Jean Lave, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1988) ISBN 0-521-35734-9.

External links[edit]