ABSTRACT

Our understanding of the term ‘community of enquiry’ is predicated on the notion of a social rather than an individual view of learning. Learning takes place through shared experiences and in dialogue with others. Meaningmaking occurs through practice within a community comprised of individuals who share a common purpose (Wenger 1998). That purpose gives shape to the practice and the forms of knowledge that are shared between the group members. The practice is bounded by the relationships and interactions between members and develops from the motivation inherent in their shared purpose. Such practice has been defined as ‘a set of socially defined ways of doing things in a specific domain: a set of common approaches and shared standards that create a basis for action, communication, problem solving, per form ance, and accountability’ (Wenger et al. 2002: 38). Relationships and identity are key components. We will explore these dimensions through Bhabha’s (1994) theory of social capital and Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, capital and field (Bourdieu 1980) and consider how these relate to the TRC group specifically.