A community of practice (CoP) was coined in 1991 to describe a group of people sharing a common concern or passion, who interact regularly to learn how to do it better. A recent article in JOPERD discusses how CoPs can be fantastic educational tools for interscholastic coaches. However, CoPs can be incorporated in many coaching situations as shown through research by Dr. Diane Culver and Dr. Pierre Trudel over the past few years.
How does CoP work?
A facilitator is appointed to be the “traffic cop” of the group. Their role is coordination only, ensuring a flow of discussion amoung the group.
What needs does CoP fulfill?
- Reflection and Mentorship
o Members are exposed to perspectives of others and can developing trusting relationships.
- Adaptable Knowledge
o Sharing of old and new ideas allow a flexibility to work in various environments.
- Competitive Nature of Coaches
o Group controls the transfer of knowledge and over time cooperation between members should occur.
- Larger Educational Structure
o Each member is considered an expert and contributor to the group.
For more articles relating to Communities of Practice (CoPs) contact AskALibrarian@sirc.ca