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Fit for purpose: Designing a faculty-based community of (teaching) practice


Green, WJ and Ruutz, A, Fit for purpose: Designing a faculty-based community of (teaching) practice, Proceedings of the 31st HERDSA Annual Conference, 1-4 July 2008, Rotorua, New Zealand, pp. 1-10. ISBN 0 908557 73 6 (2008) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2008 HERDSA and the authors

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Based essentially on a social constructivist understanding of situated learning, the concept of ‘communities of practice’ (CoPs) has been taken up enthusiastically in the corporate sector as a model for managing organisational knowledge. However, the formulaic, top-down approaches associated with this trend are particularly inappropriate in a higher education context, where the complexities of the organisational environment and the inextricable link between disciplinary knowledge and identity call for a more critical approach. We engage here with current thinking about CoPs in higher education in the light of our participation in an embryonic faculty-based community of (teaching) practice. We take the view, with Wenger, that while any learning, including learning to teach (better) cannot be designed, or predicted in advance, it can, and should be designed for. Here, we outline four considerations – language/meaning, identity, access/inclusion, and agency – that have both informed the design of our CoP, and proved crucial to its development.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:Communities of practice, higher education, academic development
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Green, WJ (Dr Wendy Green)
ID Code:122054
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:Curriculum and Academic Development
Deposited On:2017-10-27
Last Modified:2017-12-04

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