Course Title: Communities of Practice

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Communities of Practice

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


360H Education


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010


Bundoora Campus


360H Education


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007

Course Coordinator: Dr Michael Crowhurst

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6625

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 220.04.12

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course examines the concept of ‘communities of practice’ as articulated by Etienne Wenger. It builds on the idea that educators are people with expert knowledge of the social and cultural dimensions of learning contexts, as well as having expert knowledge of the content they teach. Educators design, plan for, and oversee the production of knowledge.

The focus is on thinking about knowledge as a social and cultural construction and about individuals as acquiring identities through social and cultural meanings and practices.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

It is being considered in this course that:
- knowledge about teaching and learning encompasses knowledge about learners as people with social and cultural needs and interests;
- competence in teaching and learning requires social competence;
- learners’ content knowledge is acquired when they participate fully and actively in the learning context.

At the conclusion of this course students will have acquired deeper understanding about:
• how to analyse the social and cultural meanings and relations of the classroom;
• how we communicate so that everyone’s meanings are understood and valued;
• how to plan for full participation by every learner;
• how to encourage a sense of shared control in the classroom;
• how to create rules and procedures for a sense of shared responsibility;
• how to engender a sense that resources are shared equitably;
• what are best practices for ongoing and summative assessment;
• what assessment strategies indicate about a classroom as a community of practice;
• what are basic tools for skilful reporting;
• what ‘communities of practice’ means.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities vary within a framework of lectures and workshop -based approaches.

Overview of Learning Resources

A range of text and web based learning resources are used in this course.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment incorporates successful participation in the Professional Practice Placement and its related coursework requirements as well as exploring your understandings and/or professional applications of concepts related to Communities of Practice.