Share This Article:

Professional Identity or Best Practices?—An Exploration of the Synergies between Professional Learning Communities and Communities of Practices

Abstract Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:44KB) PP. 457-460
DOI: 10.4236/ce.2012.34070    5,117 Downloads   8,106 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

This paper attempts to find the synergies between Professional Learning Community (PLC) and Community of Practice (CoP), with the view to enhance teacher professionalism. Based on the review of literatures, we highlight the different motivations of PLCs and CoPs, and the value-assumptions informing the two initiatives. We argue that both initiatives serve critical functions in augmenting teacher autonomy. Although conceptually distinctive, the underpinning values of the approaches to organizing teacher professional communities are complementary. Therefore, a two-prong approach is proposed. One seeds teacher professionalism through emergent best practices. The other consolidates these best practices into a coherent teacher professional identity through the introduction of structural affordances.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Lee, D. & Shaari, I. (2012). Professional Identity or Best Practices?—An Exploration of the Synergies between Professional Learning Communities and Communities of Practices. Creative Education, 3, 457-460. doi: 10.4236/ce.2012.34070.

References

[1] Aguilar, O. M., & Krasny, M. E. (2011). Using the communities of practice framework to examine an after-school environmental education program for Hispanic youth. Environmental Education Research, 17, 217-233. doi:10.1080/13504622.2010.531248
[2] Bruce, B. C. (2009). "Building an airplane in the air": The life of the inquiry group. In J. K. Falk, & B. Drayton (Eds.), Creating and sustaining online professional learning communities (pp. 47-67). New York: Teachers College Press.
[3] Bouchamma, Y., & Michaud, C. (2010). Communities of practice with teaching supervisors: A discussion of community members’ experiences. Journal of Educational Change, 12, 403-420. doi:10.1007/s10833-010-9141-y
[4] Campbell, E. (2005). Challenges in fostering ethical knowledge as professionalism within schools as teaching communities. Journal of Educational Change, 6, 207-226. doi:10.1007/s10833-005-7107-2
[5] Chambers, F. C., & Armour, K. M. (2011). Do as we do and not as we say: teacher educators supporting student teachers to learn on teaching practice. Sport, Education and Society, 16, 527-544. doi:10.1080/13573322.2011.589648
[6] Cranston, J. (2011). Relational trust: The glue that binds a professional learning community. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 57, 59-72.
[7] Dewey, J. (1986). Logic: The theory of inquiry. In J. A. Boydston (Ed.), John Dewey: The later works (Vol. 12, pp. 1-506). Carbondale: Southern Illinois.
[8] Dooner, A.-M., Mandzuk, D., & Clifton, R. A. (2007). Stages of collaboration and the realities of professional learning communities. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24, 564-574. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2007.09.009
[9] DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., & Many, T. (2010). Learning by doing: A handbook for professional learning communities at work (2nd ed.). Indiana: Solution Tree Press.
[10] Falk, J. K., & Drayton, B. (Eds.). (2009). Creating and sustaining online professional learning communities. New York: Teachers College Press.
[11] Foo, K. F., & Lee, H. P. (2008). Building a professional learning community in east zone through lesson study. The APERA Conference: Educational Research for Innovation & Quality in Education: Policy & Pedagogical Engagements across Contexts, Singapore, 26-28 November 2008.
[12] Harris, A. (2011). Reforming systems: Realizing the fourth way. Journal of Educational Change, 12, 159-171. doi:10.1007/s10833-011-9156-z
[13] Hoffman, P., Dahlman, A., & Zierdt, G. (2009). Professional learning communities in partnership: A 3-year journey of action and advocacy to bridge the achievement gap. School-University Partnerships, 3, 28-42.
[14] Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge UP. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511815355
[15] Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[16] Levine, T. H. (2010). Tools for the study and design of collaborative teacher learning: The affordances of different conceptions of teacher community and activity theory. Teacher Education Quarterly, 37, 109-130.
[17] Lewis, L. A., Koston, Z., Quartley, M., & Adsit, J. (2011). Virtual communities of practice: Bridging research and practice using web 2.0. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 39, 155-161. doi:10.2190/ET.39.2.e
[18] Little, J. W., & Veugelers, W. (2005). Big change question: Professional learning and school-network ties: Prospects for school improvement. Journal of Educational Change, 6, 277-291. doi:10.1007/s10833-005-8254-1
[19] Louis, K. S., & Marks, H. M. (1998). Does professional community affect the classroom? Teachers’ work and student experiences in restructuring schools. American Journal of Education, 106, 532-575. doi:10.1086/444197
[20] McDermott, R., & Archibald, D. (2010). Harnessing your staff’s informal networks. Harvard Business Review: The Magazine. URL. http://hbr.org/2010/03/harnessing-your-staffs-informal-networks/ar/3
[21] MOE. (2010). Schools as professional learning communities (2nd ed.). Singapore: MOE.
[22] Musanti, S. I., & Lucretia, P. (2010). Collaboration and teacher development: Unpacking resistance, constructing knowledge, and navigating identities. Teacher Education Quarterly, 37, 73-89.
[23] Nehring, J., & Fitzsimons, G. (2011). The professional learning community as subversive activity: Countering the culture of conventional schooling. Professional Development in Education, 37, 513-535. doi:10.1080/19415257.2010.536072
[24] Parker, M., Patton, K., Madden, M., & Sinclair, C. (2010). From committee to community: The development and maintenance of a community of practice. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 29, 337-357.
[25] Pella, S. (2011). A situative perspective on developing writing pedagogy in a teacher professional learning community. Teacher Education Quarterly, 38, 107-125.
[26] Raven, A. (2003). Team or community of practice alighning tasks, structures and technologies. In C. B. Gibson & S. G. Cohen (Eds.), Virtual teams that work (pp. 292-306). San Francisco: Wiley & Sons.
[27] Servage, L. (2008). Critical transformative practices in professional learning communities. Teacher Education Quarterly, 35, 63-77.
[28] Stoll, L., Bolam, R., McMahon, A., Wallace, M., & Thomas, S. (2006). Professional learning communities: A review of the literature. Journal of Educational Change, 7, 221-258. doi:10.1007/s10833-006-0001-8
[29] Thang, S. M., Hall, C., Murugaiah, P., & Hazita, A. (2011). Creating and maintaining online communities of practice in Malaysian smart schools: Challenging realities. Educational Action Research, 19, 87-105. doi:10.1080/09650792.2011.547724
[30] Vescio, V., Ross, D., & Adams, A. (2007). A review of research on the impact of professional learning communities on teaching practice and student learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24, 80-91. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2007.01.004
[31] Webster-Wright, A. (2009). Reframing professional development through understanding authentic professional learning. Review of Educational Research, 79, 702-739. doi:10.3102/0034654308330970
[32] Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder, W. M. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
[33] Wenger, E., & Snyder, W. M. (2000). Communities of practice: The organizational frontier. Harvard Business Review, 78, 139-145.
[34] Wiley, S. D. (2001). Contextual effects on student achievement: School leadership and professional community. Journal of Educational Change, 2, 1-33. doi:10.1023/A:1011505709050
[35] Wong, J. L. N. (2010). What makes a professional learning community possible? A case study of a Mathematics department in a junior secondary school of China. Asia Pacific Education Review, 11, 131-139. doi:10.1007/s12564-010-9080-6

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2019 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.