A community of practice is defined by Knox (2009), as “a group of people who share a passion of something they know how to do and interact regularly to learn how to do it better” where the purpose is to create, expand and exchange knowledge, and to develop individual capabilities. Wenger (2000) states that there is 3 elements to a community of practice:
- collective understanding of what community is about and hold each other accountable
- mutual engagement and a trusted partner in interactions
- Shared collection of resources
My community of practice is made up of many many sub groups where our shared domain of interest is building and sharing knowledge and skills in our community. We are focused on providing a platform for our learners where they are show grit and perseverance to become life long learners.
As a community we engage in a range of practices where we are able to build upon our knowledge and skills. These may be formal or informal conversations and observations. In my community I feel confident and listened to, to approach members to voice concerns, ask for advice and share my own ideas. This is an important part of belonging in the community where there needs to be a high level of trust. Within this community we meet for weekly meetings – team and staff, to provide connectivity (Wenger, 2000). Emails and Google plus have also become an effective and engaging way of joint discussions and problem solving.
Much of our communities shared repertoire is found online. As a community we use Google Drive as way of sharing resources where everyone has access. As well as this we also use Google Plus, this is a quick and easy way where we can share ideas, reading, tools for learning and provide feedback. This allows a framework where we are able to reflect as a community, understand other perspectives and problem solve (Wenger, 2000). Face to face communication such as observations from colleagues and the use of videoed lessons, provides time to engage in reflective questioning and listening.
My Role and contribution:
My role in the community is forever changing depending on what the situation that we are discussing or participating in. The main role in which I feel I fall in to is as a facilitator and an active member. I am comfortable in sharing my ideas and resources as well as giving feedback to others. At times I still feel like a newcomer to the community, especially as part of the senior team where I have only been this year. With more experienced and older members around me, it can sometimes feel daunting and that my ideas aren’t as of much value.
Although my school community at Otonga is my main, everyday community, I also now have the added bonus of being apart of the Mindlab community. Most of this community takes place online through our google plus community. On here we are able to share our blogs, ask questions, and share resources. I am lucky enough to have a colleague from school also part of this community, so we are able to share our ideas, reflect on our thinking, collaborate and consolidate face to face.
Knox, B.(2009, December 4). Cultivating Communities of Practice: Making Them Grow.. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhMPRZnRFkk
Wenger, E.(2000).Communities of practice and social learning systems.Organization,7(2), 225-246 (Link to the article in Unitec Library).