Following on from the late twentieth century emphasis on the individual, there was a growing re-awakening of the need for individuals to collaborate in order to benefit from each other's experiences and learning. Although learners may be "creating their own reality", that was no reason why they should invent the wheel again! The rapid rate of social and technological change posed new problems that would not be solved in isolation. Technologies which initially threatened to separate and isolate developed in such a way that they now facilitate almost-instant sharing of experience and expertise.
Learning is viewed as being the interaction, observation and reflection that occurs within a social context. The purpose of education is seen to be the modelling of new roles and behaviours in order that the learner can adjust their behaviour to suit the social context - which might also be rapidly changing, thus necessitating the development of existing behaviours or the discovery of completely new ones.
There is likely to be an emphasis on:
The increasing rate of social change implies a need for lifelong learning and adult education may be seen as a vehicle for addressing social issues.
Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger