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A Community Of Practice for BCT Teachers

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  • 1. A Community of Practice for BCT Teachers September 29, 2009 English Montreal School Board
  • 2. Communities of Practice People Processes Products “Communities of practice are groups of people who share a passion for something that they know how to do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better”
  • 3. Three Elements of Communities of Practice  A Domain of knowledge: Common purpose and shared issues (Identity, Value, and Membership)  A Community of people: The ways members interact with one another (based on Mutual respect and Trust)  The shared Practice: What members are developing (A set of ideas, tools, information, stories and documents)
  • 4. Distinctions between CoPs and other structures What is the purpose? Who belongs? What holds them together? Communitie s of Practice To create, expand, and exchange knowledge, and to develop individual capabilities Self-selection based on expertise or passion for a topic Passion, commitment, and identification with the group and its expertise Communitie s of Interest To be informed Whoever is interested Access to information and sense of likemindedness Informal Networks To receive and pass on information, to know who is who Friends and business acquaintances Mutual need and relationships
  • 5. Craft Knowledge Craft knowledge is “the massive collection of experiences and learning that those who live and work under the roof of the schoolhouse inevitably accrue” (Barth, 2001) “Tragically, this craft knowledge is rarely viewed by school people as legitimate, rigorous or useful” Fortunately, teachers are beginning to increasingly recognize the value of their craft knowledge
  • 6. Craft Knowledge and Communities of Practice A culture of learning is established when teachers are involved in two types of relationships (Barth, 2006):  Congenial: People are positive, friendly, and supportive and show an interest in each other  Collegial: (a) Conversations about practice take place and teaching strategies are shared; (b) Successful teaching and learning are celebrated
  • 7. When do CoPs work? Wenger (2006) states that communities of practice work well when people:  have craft knowledge to share,  can easily share it with each other,  want to share their knowledge, and  want to learn together to improve professional practice
  • 8. Benefits of Communities of Practice Benefits for Members:  help with challenges  access to expertise  meaningful support  fun with colleagues Benefits to Organizations:  problem-solving  timesaving  knowledge sharing  synergies across units Source: Adapted from Wenger (2006)
  • 9. BUILD: Cultivating Communities of Practice Bring people together in a potential community Utilize their craft knowledge Identify relevant concerns, ideas and issues Laugh, listen and learn together Document the knowledge developed, so it can be shared!!!
  • 10. Types of Participation
  • 11. What can we start to do?  Read a forum message  Read a document  Read a wiki / a blog  Respond to a forum message  Post a forum message  Upload a document  Contribute to a wiki / Write a blog
  • 12. References  Saint-Onge, H. & Wallace, D. (2003). Leveraging Communities of Practice. Butterworth Heinemann.  Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge University Press.  Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder, W.M. (2002). Cultivating Communities of Practice. HBS press.  Wenger E. (2006). Cultivating communities of practice: a quick start-up guide ( http://www.ewenger.com/theory/start-up_guide_PDF.pdf)

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