Cultivating communities of practice via Learning Study for enhancing teacher learning

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Abstract

This paper aims to explore the mechanism of Learning Study in enhancing teacher learning by adopting communities of practice as the analytical framework. Learning Study is a school improvement project which aims to improve the quality of student learning by enhancing teacher professional development through the creation of communities of practice among teachers, researchers and educators involved in the design, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of a research lesson, with the ultimate goal of developing a Learning Community in the school. Wenger’s (1998) theory of Communities of Practice, which postulates that participants have a mutual engagement for a negotiated joint enterprise and develop a shared repertoire, is adopted as the theoretical framework for exploring teacher learning and professional growth. This study adopts an ethnographic approach to investigate the social phenomena of teacher interactions in a case which is facilitated by the researcher in a Learning Study project. Results show that the collaborative features of Learning Study provide opportunities for teachers to create shared knowledge, values and beliefs. This study explores how the communities of practice set up by the Learning Study project can effectively help teachers build their pedagogical content knowledge. This paper will shed light on how Learning Study can enhance teacher professional development by creating communities of practice for knowledge sharing and reflective practices for teaching and learning. Copyright © 2009 Korean Educational Development Institute.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-104
JournalKEDI Journal of Educational Policy
Volume6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

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knowledge
Values
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Citation

Cheng, C. K. (2009). Cultivating communities of practice via Learning Study for enhancing teacher learning. KEDI Journal of Educational Policy, 6(1), 81-104.

Keywords

  • Communities of practice
  • Teacher learning
  • Learning community
  • Hong Kong
  • Learning study