Sunday, October 7, 2012

What is a community of practice???

Human beings are created in a way they need to communicate, share their interests and thoughts. So, as you can see you will find groups formed that share the same interest and connect because of it. This concept is their long time ago but it was toughed with more deepth and organization by the community of practice theory developed by Jean Lave and Eitinne Wenger. So what is this theory?? "The Communities of practice is a group of peopleshare a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly."(Wenger) Such groups has a great influence on individuals. Imagine you having an interest, how good you will feel when you know that you have a grouop that shares that interest and is commeted to it the same way you do. You can then stand on a solid ground with a high self esteem.
 Furthermore their are some characteristics in order to call a group Community of practice and these characteristics are; 1- shared domain, that is members share and focus on the same interest. 2-The community, the community members often share and collaborate together. They actuelly learn from each other. 3-the members share the same practice. What makes community of practice different from other communities is that the members are active practitioners. They don't only share a common interest yet, they are in the field practicing it in their everyday lives. They will be working on their interest and they will share what they've got with their group. What they will share might be a new thing that they tried and worked out with them, information transfer....and problem solving.(ex. is in the video) These communities where created in governments, organizations,....and education. applying them in educational feilds is the thing that I would like to touch more deeply in this blog. According to the community of practice, schools are part of learning. They are essential yet they serve one sector of the learning process.listen to a lecture about the world and being tested on them is not the way of learning. The effective way of learning is to be in the picture of the world. being engaged and interested in the things that I am learning about with a community back up is the effective way of learning. To apply this theory in real educational practice we have to consider Three things; 1- learning occurs within the relation of the community members. Communication and relationship play a big rule in applying this theory. 2- Educators are not being the source that students will go to know the answers. Instead educators are involved in this community thats mean they are also seeking knowledge. 3-There is a connection between Knowledge and activities. After being explaining the community off practice theory , The question that will raise up is; how to apply this theory in my educational PLN????? To apply this theory we might find it hard because we used to believed our whole lit that learning is being addressed at schools in formal way. Yet we can apply this theory. To apply such thing I might post several life issues. Foe example; cooking, cars, races,...ect. introducing them to the students and every student will go to the subject that he is interested in. In this way we will be forming a groups that share the same interest. In every community of practice students will be reading, writing, analyzing, criticizing and searching for knowledge. After that every will share its results and thoughts and will be given feedbacks and corrections. The students at the end will be learning with such interest and engagement. THis kind of learning will last long. At the end I will quote some difficulties that the community of practice theory has encountered. "While some success has been had using communities of practice to enhance student learning, issues such as community membership, power relationships, student legitimacy, evaluation, and overlapping communities still need to be addressed." this quote is from


  1. I like how you highlighted that what makes the communities of practice distinct from simply being a group as Wegner wrote, is that they are active practioners. I think that's what made the service organization that I was a part of, so powerful, that we all did service and learned from one another.

  2. The video was motivational, it made my think back to what I wrote, I truly do believe this works.

  3. Your video really helped show how a community of practice can be applied to real life situations. Communities of practice can be very powerful and are everywhere !