Community of practice may be best defined by including three components i.e. community, domain and practice. Community represents the social fabric of learning, whereas domain is to do with the things that matter; like, common ground, shared identity, shared interest, relevance, value and purpose; the matters which are more subjective in nature. Whereas, the developed, shared and maintained knowledge is linked to my practice I belong to. Examples are, information, lessons learned, knowledge, tools and documents are a few of the components of my practice. “A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a craft and/or a profession.” It can evolve naturally since the group members are likely to have a common interest.
How about this definition? - the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it. Practice is the body of knowledge we need to perform, the methods we use, the stories, cases, tools and documents used - quite comprehensive, is not it? Community is based on relationships among members and their sense of belonging. Domain is the area of shared inquiry, the key issues we are interested to observe and play with for a purpose.
To foster a community well defined identity is essential and we have to ask ourselves three important questions i.e. who is your community? What are the different layers of community? And what practice is your community engaged with?
In my next blog I will introduce my CoP! Comments will be appreciated, rather comments will be my formidable life-saver......after all, I am writing THESE blogs on purpose.
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