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 14 - Bridging Two Worlds: Identity Transition in a University Consulting Community of Practice


This chapter attempts to use the concept of Communities of Practice to describe the process of professional learning in a student-run consulting group. The central thesis put forward is that Communities of Practice within educational settings can act as intermediary zones between university and professional settings, providing students with opportunities to learn social and professional norms that would be difficult to acquire in traditional classroom settings. Drawing on theories of ritual and identity in organizations (e.g. Trice and Beyer, 1993; Pratt, 2000), the chapter examines a completely student-run consulting practice within a business school. The consulting practice draws on university support and professorial expertise, but its managerial processes are centred around a self-selected group of students that is best described as a Community of Practice. It is argued that this student group, through various means of socialization and competency development, constructs a space in-between institutionalized fields that eases the transition between educational and work settings.


Gazi Islam