Communities of Practice overview


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Presentation from the Social Theories of Learning course at Manchester University.

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  • This activity is inherently discursive. It presupposes translating sentences about doing into sentences about being e.g. “I had an accident” as oppose to “I am a bad driver” .
  • Communities of Practice overview

    1. 1. Communities of practice group presentation 7 th of February 2011 James Giles Roman Kislov Irene Kleanthous Thea van Lankveld Zareen Zaidi Etienne Wenger
    2. 2. Outline of the presentation <ul><li>Antecedents </li></ul><ul><li>Early stages </li></ul><ul><li>Middle stages </li></ul><ul><li>Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Critiques </li></ul><ul><li>New developments </li></ul>
    3. 3. Antecedents - Giddens <ul><li>Structuration Theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agency and structure cannot be analysed separately </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structures both constrain and enable action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structures are (re)produced by agency </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity/structure inter-related & inseparable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity = trajectory of the self – reflexive and social </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Antecedents - Bourdieu <ul><li>Habitus (dispositions) </li></ul><ul><li>Capital (economic, social, cultural, symbolic) </li></ul><ul><li>Field </li></ul><ul><li>Practice </li></ul>(Habitus x Capital) + Field = Practice
    5. 5. Antecedents - Bourdieu <ul><li>Comparison with CoP </li></ul><ul><li>Habitus ~ Identity </li></ul><ul><li>Field and capital are not mentioned in CoP </li></ul><ul><li>Practice is different in both theories </li></ul><ul><li>Social class ~ Community </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation </li></ul><ul><li>Legitimacy </li></ul><ul><li>Power </li></ul>
    6. 6. The History of the Theory <ul><li>Early stage – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Situated Learning, 1991 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Middle stage – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communities of Practice,1998 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultivating Communities of Practice, 2002 </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Early stage : legitimate peripheral participation <ul><li>CoP ‘structural’ characteristics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emergent/organic; uniprofessional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation: peripheral (novices); full (experts) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CoP reproduction cycle: continuity and displacement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Early notions of identity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>socio-cultural community – not external/internal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development through participation – A.A. </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Middle stage – community/practice <ul><li>CoP ‘structural’ characteristics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community: mutual engagement, negotiated enterprise and shared repertoire; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boundary: boundary objects, boundary spanners and boundary interactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Locality: constellations of practices; local and global </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cultivating CoPs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiplicity of forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domain; community; practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7 principles for cultivating CoPs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation: core group; activists; peripheral; outsiders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CoP development: potential, coalescing, maturing, stewardship; transformation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community disorders: e.g. imperialism, clique formation, documentism </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Middle stage - identity <ul><li>Experienced through participation & reification </li></ul><ul><li>Development as a process – trajectory with temporal & social dimensions </li></ul><ul><li>Participation and non-participation </li></ul><ul><li>Modes of belonging/identification: engagement, imagination, and alignment </li></ul><ul><li>Identity and power: identification (which meanings matter) and negotiability </li></ul>
    10. 10. Applications <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional development of teachers in Higher Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students ’ identity in mathematics education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Healthcare </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CoPs as a theoretical lens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CoPs as an implementation tool </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Defining units of analysis </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. A community of practice approach to the professional development of teachers in Higher Education in Costa Rica <ul><li>Learning about teaching and ICT-tools </li></ul><ul><li>Co-located meetings, online interaction, online collaboration, groupwork </li></ul>Education – professional development
    12. 12. <ul><li>Identity within the community </li></ul><ul><li>“ Why does David have the time to participate in all the activities and I do not? When I compare my possible contribution with David ’ s contribution, I felt that I did not have the same level… so I gave up my intention to write something ” (Elisa) </li></ul>Education – professional development
    13. 13. <ul><li>Identity within the community </li></ul><ul><li>New identity as innovative teacher or pioneer </li></ul><ul><li>“ The fact that our colleagues observed us planning lessons in a different way and saw that my students , their students as well, were always awaiting what was new… had promoted curiosity and allowed them to think about the need to grow and produce new forms of learning in means such as the community. I think now that we must all assume the leadership … ” (Sylvia) </li></ul>Education – professional development
    14. 14. Solomon, Y. (2007). Not belonging? What makes a functional learner identity in the undergraduate mathematics community of practice? Studies in Higher Education , 32:1, 79-96. <ul><li>Sample: a small group of 12 first year undergraduate mathematics students </li></ul><ul><li>Comparison of three modes of belonging 1 : </li></ul><ul><li>- Alignment </li></ul><ul><li>Imagination </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement </li></ul><ul><li>1 Note: In recent writings Wenger (2010) calls these three ‘modes of identification’ instead of ‘modes of belonging’. </li></ul>Education – learner identity
    15. 15. <ul><li>Charlie : All the things we look at we ’re told how to prove it, but then we are told we didn’t need to know how to prove it …so I just thought ‘forget that’. </li></ul><ul><li>Following rules – negative alignment </li></ul><ul><li>Larry : It ’s weird because even though I didn’t really understand it – it took me a while to get to understand certain things – I did sort of feel to myself “I think I am going to like this”. </li></ul><ul><li>Imagination : positioning oneself within the practice </li></ul><ul><li>Sarah : Sometimes I am working and I think “Oh maybe this could work”, and I get all excited and it usually doesn’t work but still I am thinking about it… Sometimes, I might see, like, a connection between some things and I will think “Oh maybe this would work and then maybe I would be able to prove that, and this and the other”. </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement : ‘appropriate the meanings of a community and develop an identity of participation’ </li></ul>Education – learner identity
    16. 16. <ul><li>Students ’ identity in the CoP of mathematics </li></ul><ul><li>Not belonging – they feel marginalised </li></ul><ul><li>Students rarely felt like legitimate peripheral participants in the CoP of mathematics </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicting communities of practice – multimembership </li></ul><ul><li>Students who describe identities of alignment do not participate in the community of mathematics </li></ul><ul><li>Successful students in mathematics are not learners with an inbound trajectory towards engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Joe: “ You never really feel like a mathematician because you don’t understand how it works ”. </li></ul>Education – learner identity
    17. 17. Applications - Healthcare <ul><li>Strand 1 – CoP as a theoretical lens to analyse the organisational landscape of healthcare </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uniprofessional communities with strong boundaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stickiness of knowledge at the boundaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CoPs as a prerequisite for successful collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strand 2 – CoP as an implementation tool to promote evidence-based medicine and knowledge transfer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multidisciplinarity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective but methodology is not always adequate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal processes depend on power, status, etc </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Application - Research Framework <ul><li>Forms of participation as signature behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding relationship between forms of participation <> learning in practice </li></ul>
    19. 19. Critiques - Education <ul><li>Sfard ’s critique on operationalisation of identity for using it in educational research </li></ul><ul><li>Sfard (2007) suggests instead of asking the question what identity is, asking what is the activity of identification. </li></ul><ul><li>Although, one may claim that “reducing” identity to narratives undermines its potential as a sense-making tool because we also need to investigate engagement in practice. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Critiques – Healthcare <ul><li>Critique from healthcare and management studies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The concept is difficult to operationalise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Differences between CoPs and other groupings are vague and contradictory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even if CoP cultivation is possible, their manageability is questionable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insufficient attention to power, trust and wider organisational context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Compartmentalistic ’ attitude to identity formation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of empirical basis in later works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diversity of instrumental applications  loss of meaning </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Critiques - Theory <ul><li>Bilett in Communities of practice: critical perspectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on CoP: are we losing the subject? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discourse critiques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overlooks power relationships implicit in discourse </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. History of the Theory: New developments <ul><li>Plug and play </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All that is required for other theories to become consistent with CoP is that they run their claims through the lived experience of participation in practice (Wenger, 2010). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Landscape of practices: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Characteristics: political, flat, diverse, represented in moments of service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Governance: stewardship and emergence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Newly cultivated CoPs as learning partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learning trajectories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trajectory as component of identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inter-relation between self and landscape </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. History of the Theory: New developments <ul><li>Accountability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accountability: “ What does it take to be a good professional? ” is socially negotiated in and by the community. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People have to resolve the question of where to be accountable. This is a question of the modulation of identification among multiple sources of accountability. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learning capability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ultimate product of a social theory of learning </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Any questions?