Community of Practice

A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people in a profession with a shared interest.

The members’ common interest is the bond of the group as they explore and learn from shared experiences.

These CoPs can be physical or virtual, with members engaging with each other either in a physical space or in a virtual space.

Library staff have always shared information and experiences with their own peer groups. The Professional Development Framework also give licence to library staff to expand our notion of who also shares the common interest of facilitating learning. All staff who teach have a common interest in facilitating learning. Therefore our CoPs can include teaching staff, technical support staff, administration staff and most importantly the learners themselves in CoPs.

The L2L team from its inception has sought to use CoP’s powerful learning affordances┬áto develop a series of collective responses and actions to the Professional Development Framework.


Communities of Practice and Communities of Inquiry

Jean McNiff expands on the idea of CoP when she advocates that there needs to be a moral notion

We need a Communities of Inquiry – Moving from what we do to be able to justify what and why we do things.

Values are important. “Different people have different values…these values inform how they think which inform how they act.”

We need to address what it is we are inquiring into: knowledge created for whom and for what purpose…for who’s benefit”