Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Community of Practice

Mindlab Post 4/10

Wegner describes a community of practice as groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.

In New Zealand there is a growing community of practice centred around the themes of innovative learning environments (ILE) and innovative learning practice (ILP).

This community of practice is evolving- mostly informally- throughout the country in response to meeting learners needs in a way that prepares them for a future that is immensely different than the world was when the notion of schools was first developed.
Teachers in new schools who are committed to developing and implementing a curriculum in different, perhaps collaborative ways are forming their own communities of practice. Other teachers, not in new schools, but committed to doing things to better meet the needs of today learners are joining this community of practice on some level too. The social media tools of blogging and twitter are active ingredients in spreading the word of this practice.

A significant issue facing this community is pubic understanding and perception. Although the general public accept that their own workplaces are vastly differing places than they were 20-30 years ago, many people still think school should look the same with the same learning structures, discipline structures, and curriculum dictates that were present when they were at school. While teachers and leaders within this community of practice are working hard to influence other educators, the general community needs to be helped to develop a greater understanding of the purpose of the changing more innovative, or modern, practice in classrooms and schools.

There are however challenges this community of practice face. How to continue to practice highly and get the best result for students, while experimenting with new approaches and methods implementing the curriculum can be a double-edged sword. The sharing of practice- of successes, and even more importantly failures is an important part to the strengthening and developing of the practice of the member son this community of practice. Blogging, twitter chats, google plus communities are all aiding this every day. Continuing to encourage each other to delve deeper, to reflect and to change practice in relation to these reflections is what will make this community of practice thrive and flourish.

It is a community of practice I am proud to be a part of.

Wenger-trayner.com. (2015). Introduction to communities of practice | Wenger-Trayner. Retrieved from http://wenger-trayner.com/introduction-to-communities-of-practice/

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