Etienne Wenger

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Etienne C. Wenger (born 1952 in the Swiss canton of Neuch√Ętel) is an educational theorist and practitioner, best known for his formulation (with Jean Lave) of the theory of situated cognition and his more recent work in the field of communities of practice.


Having grown up in the French-speaking parts of Switzerland, Wenger achieved a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, in 1982. He then studied at the University of California, Irvine, in the United States, gaining an M.S. in Information and Computer Science in 1984 and a Ph.D. in the same subject area in 1990.Etienne C. Wenger, Toward a theory of cultural transparency: Elements of a social discourse of the visible and the invisible. PhD thesis, University of California at Irvine, USA. He currently lives in California, USA.


Wenger holds that learning is an inherently social process and that it cannot be separated from the social context in which it happens. Among his current engagements are Communities of Practice for Accounting and Auditing Education as well as Audit and Oversight for the World Bank Centre for Financial Reporting Reform. He is in the board of recommendation for KaosPilots Netherlands.



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