The Identification and Cultivation of Appropriate Communities of Practice in Higher Education

, and . Communities of Practice: Creating Learning Environments for Educators, 1, chapter 4, Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, NC, (2008)


This chapter is specifically concerned with Communities of Practice of teachers, rather then students, in Higher Education, and with the teaching role rather than other roles such as research (although many of the arguments presented within the chapter can be generalised to other contexts). Following a short introduction to Communities of Practice, the chapter presents a classification of Communities of Practice utilising the dimensions of community structure and of knowledge activity. Drawing upon the work of Wenger, McDermott and Snyder (2002), the cultivation of Communities of Practice is discussed, and the question of how different types of community may be cultivated is considered. The chapter then addresses how these considerations may apply within Higher Education teaching. It is concluded that a flexible approach, which allows the nature of a Community of Practice to be modified in accordance with needs, is desirable.



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