Community of practice

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* Community_of_practice (english)


The concept of a community of practice (often abbreviated as CoP) refers to the process of social learning that occurs when people who have a common interest in some subject or problem collaborate over an extended period to share ideas, find solutions, and build innovations. It refers as well to the stable group that is formed from such regular interactions.

The term was first used in 1991 by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger who used it in relation to Situated learning as part of an attempt to "rethink learning" at the Institute for Research on Learning. In 1998, the theorist Etienne Wenger extended the concept and applied it to other contexts, including organizational settings. More recently, Communities of Practice have become associated with knowledge management as people have begun to see them as ways of developing social capital, nurturing new knowledge, stimulating innovation, or sharing existing tacit knowledge within an organization. It is now an accepted part of organizational development (OD).


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  • Situated learning
  • Smylie, A. (1989). Teachers views of the effectiveness of sources of learning to teach. The Elementary School Journal, 89(5), 543-558.
  • Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice. Learning as a social system. Systems Thinker.
  • Wikipedia

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