My Wiki Page- Community of Practice



A ”’community of practice (CoP)”’ is a group of people that form a community through the hobbies and interests that they share with one another. Communities of practice enable its members to interact, share ideas, learn and develop skills from other members of the community. Communities of practice are critical for learning in any community because learning involves participating and experiencing.
Communities of practice are a theory of learning. They are impacting many areas of education across the world, for example:
* CoP’s in the classroom;
* CoP’s to support students;
* virtual CoP’s supporting new and existing teachers;
* CoP’s in informal education;
* CoP’s supporting education specialists;
* CoP’s in higher and adult education;
* CoP’s in e-learning <ref> Retrieved from: </ref>

==History and Overview==

[[File:COP5.jpg|thumb|90px|left| Jean Lave (Cognitive Anthropologist)]] <ref> </ref> [[File:COP6.jpg|thumb|90px|right| Etienne Wenger (Educational Theorist)]] <ref> </ref>

Although communities of practice have existed for a long time throughout history, it was a concept proposed by Jean Lave (cognitive anthropologist) and Etienne Wenger (educational theorist) in 1991. They defined communities of practice as communities for learning. They used their experiences from apprenticeships to come up with this theory of learning through a process called ”legitimate peripheral participation (LPP)”. This process involves an outsider joining a community not knowing anything- but gradually learning the culture and atmosphere of the community so that they can be considered insiders (or part of the community). Communities of practice were initially used to describe a mode of social learning. <ref> Kimble, C., Hildreth, P.M., & Bourdon, I. ”Communities of Practice: Creating Learning Environments for Educators”, Volume 1. Pp. ix-xix. Retrieved from: </ref>

==Key Elements==

[[File: COP.jpg|centre]] <ref> </ref>

There are three important characteristics that make up a “community of practice.”

====The Domain====

A domain of knowledge creates common ground, inspires members to participate, guides their learning and gives meaning to their actions. Members are brought together by a learning need they share (whether this shared learning need is explicit or not and whether learning is the motivation for their coming together or a by-product of it) <ref> </ref> A community of practice is not merely 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. (You could belong to the same network as someone and never know it.) The domain is not necessarily something recognized as “expertise” outside the community. A youth gang may have developed all sorts of ways of dealing with their domain: surviving on the street and maintaining some kind of identity they can live with. They value their collective competence and learn from each other, even though few people outside the group may value or even recognize their expertise. <ref> Wenger, E., Wenger, B., (2015) Introduction to Communities of Practice. Retrieved from </ref>

====The Community====

The notion of a community creates the social fabric for that learning. A strong community fosters interactions and encourages a willingness to share ideas. Their collective learning becomes a bond among them over time (experienced in various ways and thus not a source of homogeneity). <ref> </ref> 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; they care about their standing with each other. A website in itself is not a community of practice. Having the same job or the same title does not make for a community of practice unless members interact and learn together. The claims processors in a large insurance company or students in American high schools may have much in common, yet unless they interact and learn together, they do not form a community of practice. But members of a community of practice do not necessarily work together on a daily basis. The Impressionists, for instance, used to meet in cafes and studios to discuss the style of painting they were inventing together. These interactions were essential to making them a community of practice even though they often painted alone. <ref> Wenger, E., Wenger, B., (2015) Introduction to Communities of Practice. Retrieved from </ref>

====The Practice====

While the domain provides the general area of interest for the community, the practice is the specific focus around which the community develops, shares and maintains its core of knowledge. Their interactions produce resources that affect their practice (whether they engage in the actual practice together or separately). <ref> Etienne Wenger (1998). ”Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity.” Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from,+Meaning,+and+Identity&printsec=frontcover&q= </ref> A community of practice is not merely a community of interest–people who like certain kinds of movies, for instance. 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. A good conversation with a stranger on an airplane may give you all sorts of interesting insights, but it does not in itself make for a community of practice. The development of a shared practice may be more or less self-conscious. The “windshield wipers” engineers at an auto manufacturer make a concerted effort to collect and document the tricks and lessons they have learned into a knowledge base. By contrast, nurses who meet regularly for lunch in a hospital cafeteria may not realize that their lunch discussions are one of their main sources of knowledge about how to care for patients. Still, in the course of all these conversations, they have developed a set of stories and cases that have become a shared repertoire for their practice. <ref> Wenger, E., Wenger, B., (2015) Introduction to Communities of Practice. Retrieved from </ref>

==Situated Learning==


Situated learning is learning that takes place in the same context in which it is applied. It is the process of creating meaning from everyday activities, where learning is obtained through social relationships. It could be thought of as a theory on how individuals acquire professional skills, extending research on apprenticeship into how legitimate peripheral participation leads to membership in a community of practice. <ref>Wlliams, H. (1991). Communities of Practice: Creating Learning Environments for Educators. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from url= </ref>


[[File:COP7.jpg]] [[File:COP8.jpg]] <ref> </ref>

Motivation to share knowledge is critical to success in communities of practice. Studies show that members are motivated to become active participants in a CoP when they view knowledge as meant for the public good, a moral obligation and/or as a community interest. Members of a community of practice can also be motivated to participate by using methods such as tangible returns (promotion, raises or bonuses), intangible returns (reputation, self-esteem) and community interest (exchange of practice related knowledge, interaction). <ref> Ardichvilli, Alexander; Page, Vaughn; Wentling, Tim (2003). ”Motivation and barriers to participation in virtual knowledge sharing in communities of practice”. Journal of knowledge management. 7 (1): 64–77. Retrieved from </ref>

You can find a YouTube video on how to build a community of practice by Bill Duane here:
[[How to Build a Community of Practice]]

== See Also ==
* [[Discourse community]]
* [[Knowledge transfer]]
* [[Learning community]]
* [[Legitimate peripheral participation]]
* [[Online community of practice]]
* [[Situated learning]]

<references />

–[[User:Gasikaistaifan|Gasikaistaifan]] ([[User talk:Gasikaistaifan|talk]])

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