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 3 - Education Leadership for a Networked World


This chapter describes an education leadership model based on Virtual Communities of Practice (vCoPs) which is amplified using cases from the authors' professional practice. In this context, education leaders are those leading systems, institutions or programs. The model is explained, how it works, what it accomplishes, and why it represents a sea change. It is argued that leaders with the skill to harness networks of virtual communities of practice will be the only ones capable of carrying out a reform agenda. vCoPs are both method and medium, requiring a correlating set of new leadership competencies, defined in three broad areas: Vision, Networks and Knowledge Ecology. The chapter concludes with five reasons why education leaders should invest in Virtual Communities of Practice: Time, Human Capital, Leader and Organization Development, Policy and Practice, and Outcomes.


Diana D. Woolis
Susan Restler
Yvonne Thayer