I identify with two Communities of Practice in regards to possible inquiry Topics. The first being the Senior Management Team I am a part of who meet regularly to discuss, plan and analyse the school’s strategic vision. The second being the Leaders of Learning who I lead, to adapt and implement the strategic vision of the school. The purpose of both CoP’s is to share knowledge to develop and strengthen our own individual portfolios. While also given the space to innovate, adapt and support staff in all ways. These CoP’s fits nicely into Wenger’s definition which highlights that a “Community of practice is a group of people who share a passion for something they know how to do and interact regularly to learn how to do it better.” I see both of the aforementioned groups as fitting into this description.
Both of these Communities have a range of the essential elements required to identify as a CoP, most notably they are both a Joint enterprise which signifies the shared domain They also require and exemplify Mutual engagement where members engage through interactions within the community, building mutual trust in the relationships. This is key for reciprocity in both of these groups and essentially there is a range of “communal resources” or Shared repertoire that the community of practice produce (Wenger, 2000, p.229). Although upon further reading and for the purpose of this blog I much prefer the terms Domain, Community and Practice ( Wenger-Trayner 2015)
Two inquiry topics that I have interest in exploring further are “How can the improved reporting structure be enhanced to improve student agency, evidence, and sharing learning with whanau online?” and “How can we use Multi Touch books and culturally responsive online tools to focus on and improve the literacy and achievement of our Maori students?” This is essential in a school that is over 71% Maori, however the policy and best practice applies to all students to avoid marginalisation in any circumstance. Both of these inquiries stem from the School’s Learning With Digital Technologies (LWDT) action plan and the goals of the Kahui Ako with particular focus on Literacy skills and development of the Literacy Learning Progressions.
Both of these goals are essentially based in culturally responsive planning. As mentioned in (Bevan-Brown, J.M.(2009) “An essential part of Holistic programming for Maori students is the involvement of parents, Whanau and members of the Maori Community. It is important they are given opportunities to participate in various ways.” This led to a change in the reporting structure and for the inclusion of Whanau Voice. However this is in its infancy and a further inquiry is required. The importance of going 1-1 in digital devices and providing equity amongst all students leads me to the second inquiry, therefore “a Maori worldview with a focus on all individuals reaching their highest potential for expanding and deepening their own talents and skills, preparing them to reach their goals and to ultimately make a difference in their life ( Mcfarlane et al). This is the foundation for all areas of using technology to enhance learning, and for this particular inquiry a focus on Literacy.
Input from Whanau “Thank you for the 1st Fortnightly progress Report for ……. This we believe is a great initiative from the school and really allows the parents to follow progress and identify any areas that need to be address with …… regularly. This is truly appreciated,” highlights the positive nature of the change in reporting. However it has also raised a lot of questions for Whanau and this provides me with passion to further explore the possibilities of the live reporting in an inquiry cycle.After looking at leavers data as an SMT and gathering a range of Student voice it was clearly indicated that the students who had been engaged through contextualised digital forums made far more progress in Literacy based subjects than those who did not. Therefore the students voice highlighted the need to mould the literacy progressions around them, rather than the other way around.
Considering the input from Whanau and Students is crucial as a collaboration with the staff voice I am privy to in my Communities of Practice. Therefore the inquiry topics I have chosen are not based on a feeling or policy, but rather a judgement based on evidence and feedback from all stakeholders.
- Bevan-Brown, J.M.(2009). Identifying and providing for gifted and talented Maori Students. APEX, 15(4), 6-20.
- Jay, J.K. and Johnson, K.L. (2002) Capturing complexity: a typology of reflective practice for teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18, 73-85.
- Macfarlane, A. H., Glynn, T., Grace, W., Penetito, W., & Bateman, S. (2008). Indigenous epistemology in a national curriculum framework?. Ethnicities, 8(1), 102-126.
- Wenger, E.(2000). Communities of practice and social learning systems. Organization,7(2), 225-246
- Wenger-Trayner, E., & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2015). Introduction to communities of practice: A brief overview of the concept and its uses. Retrieved from http://wenger-trayner.com/introduction-to-communities-of-practice