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Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity (Learning in Doing: Social, Cognitive and Computational Perspectives) 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I teach at a school that is part of the Professional Learning Communities (PLC) movement. Wenger's book has shed light on why "top-down" implementation of school improvement has failed. The guru of the PLC movement, Richard Dufour (2004), claims that the three big ideas of PLC's are ensuring that students learn, a culture of collaboration and a focus on results. It is in this context that I found Wenger's book valuable in understanding the poverty of the PLC movement.
Wenger claims that communities of practice are learning communities. Are Professional Learning Communities true learning communities as described by Wenger? The answer is no. In a learning community there is interplay between reification and participation. Reification is the artifacts and procedures of previous practice. Participation is the activity engaged in by the practitioner for the organization that results in reification. It is not an either/or model, but dualism. It is within this interplay that learning about practice and the ownership of meaning and identity formation takes place.
Teachers directed by their employer to become PLCs are required to make such large changes in their teaching practices that they become overwhelmed and lost in establishing new practices. The reason for this is that the PLC regime does not consider the requisite identity work and the time required for teachers to own the meaning of new practices. PLCs are not true learning communities.
What about schools? Wenger claims a community of practice emerges when an organization sets forth a structure to accomplish its goal: "...Read more ›
Definitely worth a slow, reflective reading.
Provides a lot of context for thinking about organizational learning.
I found the book to be very thought provoking, but I would recommend his 2002 book, "Cultivating Communities of Practice," for practitioners.
Author of "Strategic Organizational Learning"
My gripe is that there's a lot in this book. A lot. There could be whole books written on boundary, identities, organizational/education design, etc. I'm compelled to re-read this because I fear I missed a lot since it's just got a lot in it.
I really wish I had read this book before I started undergrad. Could've changed the way I think about how I learn.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very in depth look at the concept of community of practice. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the COP frameworkPublished on November 13, 2013 by James
Great book to understand how learning, meaning, and identity work within our social learning environments. Again, bought this for my PhD literature review and it helped immensely.Published on May 24, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Must have for researchers on language socialization and work place language teaching. This book lies the very theoretical foundation for community of practice.Published on February 8, 2012 by Yi Zhang
Read this book for my master's research 5 years ago. I still feel the research outlined in this book is relevant today, in my current work. Besides that, it's a great read. Read morePublished on December 1, 2010 by Heather