Adie, L., Mergler, A., Alford, J., Chandra, V. & Hepple, E. (2017). Teacher educators' critical reflection on becoming and belonging to a community of practice. J. McDonald, A. Cater-Steel. Communities of Practice: Facilitating Social Learning in Higher Education 403-422. Singapore: Springer.
Establishing communities of practice is a tenuous process fraught with a multiplicity of experiences and artefacts that come together and either strengthen or hinder the practice. In this chapter a diverse group of teacher educators reflect on their experience of being brought together to form a community of practice in the scholarship of teaching. Their task was to collaboratively consider and problem solve some of the key issues currently impacting on teacher education, and more broadly on higher education. How the group negotiated shared meaning and purpose is a focus of the chapter. There were many challenges and issues that the group needed to collaboratively and individually solve before progressing towards shared meaning. The experiences of the assigned leaders of this group are also considered, yet it is the evolving understanding of leadership through collaboration that is of greater importance. The interplay of the experiences of all group members along with the artefacts and practices that reify the group’s purpose are considered. We explore how the group members began to understand how to work collaboratively across the boundaries of their disciplines, and how reflecting on their learning and participation in this group enabled them to work through issues that were constraining their progress.
Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education
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