Communities of Practice: Creating Learning Environments for Educators

Editors, Chris Kimble, Paul Hildreth and Isabelle Bourdon
Publisher, Information Age Publishing

As a two volume set:
Hard cover ISBN: 1593118678 , Soft cover ISBN: 159311866X

As separate volumes:
Hard Cover - Vol 1 ISBN: 1593118635 , Vol 2 ISBN: 1593118651
Soft Cover - Vol 1 ISBN: 1593118627 , Vol 2 ISBN: 1593118643

Volume 1, Chapter 10 - Space, Resistance and Identities: University Based Teacher-Educators developing a Community of Practice


This chapter describes the coming together, at a particular moment and for a particular purpose, of a group of teacher-educators in a British university, to form a readers' and writers' group. Central government policy change regarding the nature of post-16 teacher education in England and Wales was the catalyst, and over an eighteen month period, the group analysed the impact of such change on their personal and professional identities and devised authentic ways of responding to it. Here we attempt to make sense of this experience within the theoretical frames offered by notions of Communities of Practice. In so doing we explore both the 'inside space' of the group and its relation with the 'outside' of our institutional context and beyond. The process of writing this chapter collaboratively has served both to reify further the identity and positioning of the group and to point towards future work. In claiming space for 'bottom up' critical reflection and resistance and for the power to forge new positions in response to policy development, this experience clearly has a resonance beyond the particular circumstances of these teacher-educators. Employees in any setting, who are required to implement policies which challenge their professional identities, and who must find a means of rethinking and re-articulating their positions, can draw upon this group process model.


Margaret Herrington

Alex Kendall
Julie Hughes
Cathie Lacey
Rob Smith
Vanessa Dye
Rachel Baig
Matt O'Leary