Naava Frank: Learning Communities for ProfessionalPresentation Transcript
Learning Communities for Professional Development: Case Studies and Best Practices Leader: Naava Frank Knowledge Communities CAJE - August 2007
Who are we?
Who in this room is currently part of a peer learning community or Community of Practice?
Goals for Today
Understand and experience three core processes of learning communities:
elicit tacit knowledge
Understand concepts of: social capital, emergence and tacit knowledge
Experience some aspects of a learning community
Generate and take home ideas you can try with your constituents
Why does it matter who we are?
Compare and Contrast
How is a learning community / CoP different from a traditional adult education class?
What is a Community of Practice (CoP)?
What is a CoP?
A Community of Practice is a community of professionals who share a common set of problems and systematically share their knowledge , expertise and tools in order to improve their practice and the performance of their organization by interacting on an ongoing basis .
“ Wisdom resides in the skills, understandings, and relationships…as well as in the tools, documents, and processes of practitioners in the field.”
From Cultivating Communities of Practice , Wegner, McDermott and Snyder
Communities of Practice can exist within organizations or between organizations, at a local level or on a national level.
“ A diverse group of people engaged in real work over a significant period of time during which they build things, solve problems, learn and invent…in short they evolve a practice that is highly skilled and highly creative.”
From Customer Inspired Innovation: Creating the Future , Bauer
Three Key Components of a Community of Practice
Members – Informal Educators, Admission Professionals, Geriatric Case Workers, Preschool Directors
Domain – Informal Education, Admission, Geriatric Care, Educational Leadership
Activities focused on sharing practice – Face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, projects, listservs, surveys, visits, shared web space
Connect individuals to the content / domain
Exercise: Create a questions map
Poet and critic John Ciardi said, “A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea.”
How can the community help you find answers to these questions?
How did you feel standing up and asking questions in front of a group?
What makes it easier?
What makes it harder?
Which of these questions are material for community learning?
Other Methods for Surfacing Questions Around a Learning Activity Survey Monkey and Wiki Using Technology Debrief After What do we still need to know (emergence) At the end Pause for questions During As part of introductions At the beginning Survey or email Before
Other Methods for Surfacing Questions Around a Learning Activity Survey Monkey and Wiki Using Technology Debrief After What do we still ned to know (emergence) At the end Pause for questions During As part of introductions At the beginning Survey or email Before
II. Build Connections
Connect Individuals To:
People with similar problem
People who solved the problem
Weaving the Web
Communities are much more than their calendar of events
The heart of a community is the web of relationships among community members, and much of the day-to-day occurs in one-on-one exchanges. Thus, a common mistake in community design is to focus too much on public events.
A community coordinator needs to "work" the private space between meetings, dropping in on community members to discuss their current technical problems and linking them with helpful resources, inside or outside the community. These informal, "back channel" discussions actually help orchestrate the public space and are key to successful meetings.
Cultivating Communities of Practice, Wenger, McDermott and Snyder
The core idea of social capital theory is that social networks have value
“ The aggregate of actual or potential resources which are linked to the ...membership in a group” (Bourdieu in Everingham, 2001).
“ The existence of a certain (i.e. specific) set of informal values or norms shared among members of a group that permit cooperation among them” (Fukuyama).
Bridging and bonding behavior
Citations above from Wikipedia
Social Capital Exercise:
Write on newsprint
One key challenge you face at work
One key resource that helps you with work
Ex. person, book, course, experience etc.
Helps people see and build connections
What connections do you see in our community?
Other Ways to Help People Connect to Social Capital
Before, During, After, Using Technology
Introductions on a listserv
List of resources along with names
Capture notes or questions with names
III. Elicit Tacit Knowledge
“ Let me tell you where the real value comes in, not when somebody’s giving you advice. The real ‘Ah-ha’ comes about when you’re sitting there as part of a group assessing the other person’s issue. It has no resemblance to yours. All of a sudden, you get a break-through thought. Because you’ve emptied your mind of your own garbage to get into somebody else’s, ideas can come out. I see that over and over gain. The real value comes not when you’re working on your own deal, but when you’re working on somebody else’s.”
Free Agent Nation by Daniel H. Pink p. 138
Definition of Tacit Knowledge “We know more than we can tell.” – Michael Polanyi
Silent or unspoken knowledge
Knowledge that people carry in their minds and is, therefore, difficult to access
Often, people are not aware of the knowledge they possess or how it can be valuable to others
Effective transfer of tacit knowledge generally requires extensive personal contact and trust
A particular context evokes the knowledge
What Are Ways to Elicit Tacit Knowledge?
“ An emergent behavior or emergent property can appear when a number of simple entities (agents) operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviors as a collective.”
“ The arising of novel and coherent structures, patterns and properties during the process of self-organization in complex systems” (Goldstein).
Citations above from Wikipedia
What are you going to do as a result of this session?
What questions did we not answer?
Plus / Delta
Teachers draw on many sources of professional development but they participate most frequently in school-based activities. We found that when teachers draw on a combination of sources, including teacher networks, external professional groups, and school-based activities, their professional development is overall of a higher quality than when they draw primarily on only one source.
Teacher Professional Development in Chicago: Supporting Effective Practice (2001) Smylie et.al. Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago.
Bibliography & Resources For Further Learning Bauer, R. (2003) Members evolve more creative practice. Retrieved June 1, 2007 from The Knowledge Management Advantage Web site http://www.providersedge.com/kma/cop.htm . CP Square Web Site - A CoP for people running Communities of Practice (Runs an online course on how to facilitate a CoP). www.cpsquare.com Everingham, C. (2001). Reconstituting Community . Retrieved July 31, 2007 from Wikipedia Web site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_capital . Fukuyama, F. Social Capital . Retrieved July 31, 2007 from Wikipedia Web site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_capital . Goldstein, J. (1999) Emergency. Retrieved June 15, 2007 from Wikipedia Web site http:// en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Emergence . Pink, D.H. (2002). Free agent nation: The future of working for yourself . New York, New York: Warner Books, Inc. p. 138. Polanyi, M. (1983). Tacit Knowledge . Retrieved July 31, 2007 from Wikipedia Web site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacit_knowledge . Wegner, E., McDermott, R., Snyder, W. (2002 ) Seven Principles for Cultivating Communities of Practice . Retrieved June 1, 2007 from http://www.geofunders.org/_uploads/documents/live/Communities%20of%20Practice%20Guidelines%20(GEO).doc Wegner, E., McDermott, R., Snyder, W. (2002). Cultivating Communities of practice. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Naava Frank, Ed.D. is committed to fostering collegial sharing for professional growth through the creation of Communities of Practice. In all of her work, she searches for new meaning and depth and for the many ways it can be shared . Knowledge Communities Helping Foundations and Non-Profits Build Communities that Share Knowledge Web site: www.knowledgecommunities.org Phone: 617-864-2248 E-mail: [email_address] Knowledge Communities