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 17 - Teaching and Learning about Communities of Practice in Higher Education


Communities of practice (CoPs) are presented in literature as an efficient tool for creating and sharing knowledge among professionals. In order to learn more about CoPs, four CoPs within Hanze University Groningen, the Netherlands, were studied. Hanze University offers degree courses at the bachelor level. This research project investigates the functioning of CoPs by way of action research. Three questions are answered: How do CoPs work; what are the success factors? What are the success factors of CoPs in Higher Education as compared to those from literature? Can working as a CoP be taught, and if so, how should we go about this? The results are translated into an educational model for teaching and learning about CoPs, with the conclusion that teaching and learning about CoPs helps to start and nurture CoPs in an educational institution.


Petra Cremers
Rianne Valkenburg