A view of learning, which emphasizes learning as a process of taking in or being supplied with desired pieces of knowledge or knowledge structures. Knowledge is understood as a matter of the individual mind. According to Anna Sfard (1998), this is one of two basic ways of understanding learning besides the participation metaphor of learning in current educational literature.

See also the knowledge creation metaphor of learning.


Engeström, Y. & Sannino, Annalisa (2010). Studies of expansive learning: Foundations, findings and future challenges. "Educational Research Review" 5(1), 1-24.

Paavola, S., Lipponen, L. & Hakkarainen, K. (2002) Epistemological Foundations for CSCL: A Comparison of Three Models of Innovative Knowledge Communities . In Gerry Stahl (ed.) Computer Support for Collaborative Learning: Foundations for a CSCL Community, Proceedings of: CSCL 2002 (January 7-11, 2002, Boulder, Colorado, USA). Distributed by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Hilldale, New Jersey, USA.

Paavola, S., Lipponen, L., & Hakkarainen, K. (2004). Models of Innovative Knowledge Communities and Three Metaphors of Learning. Review of Educational Research 74(4), 557-576.

Sfard, A. (1998). On two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one. Educational Researcher, 27(2), 4–13.

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