Community leadership and cultural-historical activity theory_ Implications for lifelong learning Academic Article uri icon


  • Communities for lifelong learning have, in recent years, seen diversification and boundary crossing. Such a transformation has required a new understanding of community and leadership. Existing theoretical discussions, however, are inadequate at explaining the various emerging communities and their practice for lifelong learning. Hence, this study aims to provide practical and academic implications concerning lifelong learning by examining community leadership and cultural-historical activity theory(CHAT). Community leadership as another approach to leadership emphasizes the role and social learning of diverse stakeholders beyond a hierarchical leader-centered approach. A fresh viewpoint to lifelong learning is gained by considering community leadership as a relational capacity-building process through resolving differences and conflicts among stakeholders. The literature on community leadership, however, is still limited, failing to provide a concrete framework to review community leadership, as well as a clear viewpoint on community. By contrast, through the notion of activity as a unit of analysis, CHAT offers a theoretical framework that could produce a rich understanding of community leadership and lifelong learning. Some empirical studies have verified that CHAT is useful in understanding community leadership and lifelong learning by identifying community and revealing contradictions influencing community leadership. Therefore, the viewpoints of community leadership and CHAT could contribute to injecting expanded meanings into lifelong learning occurring in various community contexts in Korea.

published proceedings

  • The Journal of Educational Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, J., & Su, Y. P.

complete list of authors

  • Kim, J||Su, YP

publication date

  • January 1, 2012 11:11 AM