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Situating Teachers - Instructional Practices in the Institutional Setting of the School and District

Situating Teachers - Instructional Practices in the Institutional Setting of the School and District

This article uses an analytic approach that seeks to challenge the dichotomy between the organizational features of schools, and the role of professional development in supporting teachers and learning. According to the authors, faculty become members of a community of practice when they share concerns about teaching and learning. The notion of a community of practice as developed by Wenger (1998) discusses three interrelated dimensions that serve to characterize a community of practice: A joint enterprise. In the case of a professional teaching community, the joint enterprise might be that of ensuring that students come to understand central ideas. Mutual relationships. In the case of a professional teaching community, these relationships encompass general norms of participation as well as norms that are specific to teaching such as the standards to which the members of the community hold each other accountable when they justify pedagogical decisions and judgments. A well-honed repertoire of ways of reasoning with tools and artifacts. In the case of a professional teaching community, this repertoire includes normative ways of reasoning with instructional materials and other resources when planning for instruction. It also includes normative ways of using tasks and other resources to make students reasoning visible. The approach recommended involves delineating communities of practice and analyzing three types of interconnections between them that are based on boundary encounters, brokers, and boundary objects. From Educational Researcher 32 (6): 13?24, 2003.

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