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Beyond Communities of Practice: Theory as Experience

By Tom Stehlik, Pam Carden



Communities of practice are groups of people who informally share, develop and process learning, knowledge and practice in whatever situation they are in. They form when like-minded people come together to achieve a goal or find that they have common interests, and often develop into learning communities with transformative consequences for individuals.

In this collection authors from around Australia and from Finland investigate communities of practice in a range of diverse situations, including new school teachers, offshore university students, probationary police constables working with mentors, collaboration between scientists, and funeral industry workers learning on the job. In doing so they develop and go beyond the original theory of communities of practice, adding new dimensions of experience such as the importance of power relations, emotions and social identities.

The variety of case studies that are illustrated and the analysis and discussion presented will appeal to anyone with an interest in work-based learning, teachers who seek to foster inclusive learning communities, and people who want to learn more about their own communities of practice and how they function.

Proudly published by Post Pressed

Table of Contents

  • Contents
  • Foreword
    Alison Mackinnon
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
    Tom Stehlik and Pam Carden


Part 1: Perspectives on academic communities of practice

  1. Safeguarding academic communities: Retaining texture and passion in the academy
    Deborah Churchman
  2. New kinds of education, new kinds of students: Communities of practice in transnational higher education
    Anne Chapman and David Pyvis
  3. Mythopoetic communities of practice in postgraduate educational research
    Peter Willis
  4. Building a knowledge management context for communities of practice: The concept of 'ba' as a knowledge platform for a group of students
    Jane Hiscock
  5. Emotional journeying: A community of practice undergoing radical change
    Sharron King


Part 2: Communities of practice in school-based settings

  1. Beyond communities of practice: Learning circles for transformational school leadership
    Judy Peters and Rosie Le Cornu
  2. Applying situated learning as a theoretical model to doctoral research: A case study of a Waldorf School as a community of practice
    Tom Stehlik
  3. Discourse and the construction of identity in a community of learning and a community of practice
    Bronwyn Ewing
  4. Promoting collegiality in teacher professional development within school-based communities of practice
    Susanne Owen


Part 3: Communities of practice in organisational and other contexts

  1. Joining the funeral procession: Learning journeys and the ethnographic task
    Pam Carden
  2. Is it a 'community of practice' that we want? Whose interests would that serve?
    Anne Herbert
  3. Partnering industry to build stronger communities
    Daniela Stehlik
  4. Different paths of working relationships: Exploring the internal dynamics of a community of practice in chemistry
    Sari Yli-Kauhaluoma
  5. Trust and acceptance: The importance of communities of practice to probationary constables
    Pam Carden and Roger Harris
  • Notes on contributors
  • Index

Beyond Communities of Practice: Theory as Experience

Published: 2006
Pages: x+228
Post Pressed

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