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Communities of Practice - MB Adult EAL Teachers

A vision for the fractal development of a community of practice amoung adult EAL teachers in Manitoba.

Paul Vieira

on 10 December 2010

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Transcript of Communities of Practice - MB Adult EAL Teachers

Communities of Practice Fractals The Equation An Old Idea Paideia
Ancient Greek - means "education" or "instruction."
(best known its use in the word encyclopedia)
In ancient Greece, a crucial part of a wealthy teenager's education was a mentorship with an elder. The teenager learned by watching his mentor talking about politics in the agora, helping him perform his public duties, exercising with him in the gymnasium and attending symposia with him. The richest students continued their education by studying with famous teachers.
Ancient technology was passed on through generations. The transfer of knowledge from master to apprentice was done partly by demonstrating, but mostly by having the apprentice train the same movements over and over again, building up a physically engrained knowledge of movements.
"Help me, so I can help you;
so we can climb this mountain together" Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I may remember. What are communities of practice? “a group of people who share a passion (interest, craft, and/or profession) and engage in a process of collective learning where members of the group learn from each other to develop themselves personally and professionally.” (Lave & Wenger 1991)
The term
of practice”
was coined
to refer to the
that acts as a
for the
apprentice. Traditional efforts at managing knowledge
have focused on information systems with
disappointing results.
How do communities of practice affect performance? by reducing rework and preventing the "reinvention of the wheel"
by decreasing the learning curve of new employees
by responding more rapidly to customer needs and inquiries
by spawning new ideas for products and service

Lesser & Storck (2001, p. 836) see one. do one. teach one Involve me and I'll understand. Observations from the field: The University of Winnipeg,
English for Specific Purposes Program

A community of practice grew over the course of a year.
ESP instructors developed a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, and ways of addressing recurring problems – a shared practice.
Why are people attracted to this? A badge of identy - 1 A way to meet people - 2 A way to learn - 3 A way to stay current - 4 (ancient chinese proverb) (ancient greek proverb) CoPs foster a natural environment for the organic transfer of knowledge, professional wisdom, and best practices through the interaction of experienced practitioners and novices. Communities of practice provide a new
approach, which focuses on people and
on the social structures that enable them
to learn with and from each other.

Where do we look for the ideal structure to organize people? Fractal organizations are complex, adaptive systems that self-organize and succeed by cohering group efforts with shared vision and purpose.
Leaders in these organizations are conduits of information and resource flows, enabling the collective intelligence of the group to drive change and innovation.

The core is the center of expertise, while radically new insights often arise at the boundary between communities.

P O D ractice ur community omain social fabric of learning develop practice as application of knowledge stewardship of knowledge Manitoba
Adult EAL Communities of Practice How Do We Start? The Way Lightning Strikes 1. Pools of Energy Sow the vision for “communities of practice” from the CORE to the EDGES
Identify the informal communities or spheres of influence that already exist – pools of energy
Ionization of the Air 2. Negotiate with Stakeholders to make space for this – creating a path for conduction
Program delegates form PODs as prototypes of inquiry and design The Return Stroke EDGE communities initiate a natural response and form PODs around areas of practice 3. joint enterprise mutual engagement shared repertoire Wasko and Faraj (2000) describe three kinds of knowledge: "knowledge as object", "knowledge embedded within individuals", and "knowledge embedded in a community". Wasko, M.; Faraj, S. (2000). ""It is what one does": why people participate and help others in electronic communities of practice". Journal of Strategic Information Systems 9: pp. 155–173. Tacit knowledge is considered to be those valuable context-based experiences that can not easily be captured, codified and stored. ww
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