Communities of Practice

Wednesday, 16 December 2009, 17:28 | Category : Education Technology
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Communities of practice are everywhere.  Groups of people who join together to form a community based around a shared practice, interest or activity. Some people are in the center of the group, others are around the edges.  Both play critical roles in the sustainability of the community.  The community is continually shaped by the participation of the members.  Their interactions, knowledge sharing and over time, ability to overcome obstacles through collaboration is a critical evolutionary component of communities of practice.

The domain. A community of practice is is something more than a club of friends or a network of connections between people. ‘It has an identity defined by a shared domain of interest. Membership therefore implies a commitment to the domain, and therefore a shared competence that distinguishes members from other people’

The community. ‘In pursuing their interest in their domain, members engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information. They build relationships that enable them to learn from each other’

The practice. ‘Members of a community of practice are practitioners. They develop a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems—in short a shared practice. This takes time and sustained interaction’

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