The Foundations of Communities of Practice Workshop, September 2010 course from CPSquare starts today.
I enrolled on the course to learn more as a current project I'm involved with includes an attempt to stimulate and support a Community of Practice among doctors who care for people with diabetes. Having read the books (http://www.ewenger.com/pub/pubbooks.htm) and the theory I felt some practical discussion and experience would be helpful.
The best way to learn about a particular learning theory is to learn about it by using it to learn about it.
Communities of Practice are not discussed widely in medicine but they clearly exist. They are far more openly promoted in other industries including local government in the UK which an old friend pointed out over the summer.
However, doctors are a strange bunch and sometimes if you tell them you want to put them into a 'community of practice' their initial response would be to say no thanks. They say that when they talk about their clinical work but in other aspects they leap into communities of practice. There are quite a few medics in the cycling group "One and All". It was very interesting listening to the informal discussions about the practice of cycling during the ride, afterwards at the cafe and later on the Facebook page. There are also strong issues about negotiation of identity. There are cycling outfits (you can imagine it) that reflect membership of the club from those on the periphery and one person was even wearing new branded socks which someone else very much wanted to have. Where next?
Anyhow, looking forward to geeking out with other CoP enthusiasts later today.