Authentic learning within the community of practice: The Advancing Teaching and Learning Program

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Quality Conversations Vol. 25

July, 2002, 794 pages
Published by
Tony Herrington
ISBN
0 908557 54 X
Abstract 

New conceptions of teaching and learning as well as new practices and policies have been introduced to higher education in recent decades (e.g., Student Centred Learning, Problem-Based Learning, Outcomes Based Education). Advanced staff development addresses some of the professional needs of staff in times of rapid change. However, it is only when attempting to implement new approaches to teaching and learning that the more specific concerns and doubts of staff arise. Some of the outcomes of the paradigm shift introduced by the new conceptions and practices include a shift to authentic learning by academics in communities of practice and a more cooperative academic culture (Angelo, 1997). Communities of practice are valuable assets for universities. Passion for a common goal brings members together and drives them to share and advance their collective knowledge with each other. This paper considers communities of practice and their implications for staff development. The connection between communities of practice and the staff development context is then explored using the Advancing Teaching and Learning Program at the University of Western Australia (UWA) as a case study example.The authors suggest that academic staff developers can foster the development of communities of practice and provide a bridge between advanced staff development and authentic learning by teachers in the university classroom

Keywords: authentic learning, communities of practice, staff development

Authentic learning within the community of practice: The Advancing Teaching and Learning Program

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Ingram, D. & Goody, A.