Considering Online Communities of Practice as Effective Tools for Pre-Service School Librarian Professional Development
Abstract: Communities of practice (CoP) have been identified as social learning structures that allow participants to gain specific knowledge through meaningful interactions with other members of the CoP. Research has been conducted to explore the elements of communities of practice and the types of activities present in CoPs specific to various settings. This article reviews the social learning framework of CoPs and discusses the use of this framework in multiple industries to highlight the essential elements for successful CoPs. A critique of this learning model explores the strengths and weaknesses of using communities of practice for fostering knowledge construction. Ultimately, suggestions are made for future research on identifying the extent to which online communities of practice are used by higher education institutions to promote the professional growth and development of pre-service school librarians and the perceived impact of participation in a CoP.
Presider: Sharonda Lipscomb, University of North Texas