How Social Learning is Transforming Professional Development

According to Wenger-Trayner, “Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” Communities of practice are a key component of effective professional development because learning is a social activity. 

There are three components of CoPs:

1. THE DOMAIN: Any CoP is defined by a common interest and focus. It is not just a group of people who like the same thing or have the same tastes—there is a shared purpose.

2. THE COMMUNITY: The shared purpose brings together a group of people that engage in collaborative work and cooperation through sharing resources and ideas. Learners in these communities build sustained relationships and take on shared responsibilities.

3. THE PRACTICE: CoPs are more than just a group of people who chat about a shared interest. These are not isolated groups of people that share resources once, or even twice. They are intentional, ongoing and collaborative.

Learn more about these concepts here.