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 2, Chapter 14 - Learning Communities Are Not Mushrooms - or - How to Cultivate Learning Communities in Higher Education


This chapter looks at advances of Information and Communication Technologies and their effect on learning processes. The study is based on a large sample of students in a business school and the chapter provides a definition of on-line communities, especially in an educational environment. The chapter also addresses the issue of the difference between Networks and Communities, and provides guidance to teachers or professionals who need to create such environments. The main message of this chapter is that social bonds are essential for a community to emerge. This implies a total break with the traditional role of teacher as 'dispenser of knowledge'. One can extrapolate that the role of teacher might move towards that of coach dealing with complex environments and/or problems that require group solutions. The teacher, through course design, must also prepare a fertile environment where learning communities can grow ... in other words, learning communities will not just 'mushroom' in the absence of favourable conditions.


Mélanie Bos-Ciussi
Marc Augier
Gillian Rosner