Published on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The concept of a community of practice (often abbreviated as CoP) refers to the process of social learning that occurs and shared sociocultural practices that emerge and evolve when people who have common goals interact as they strive towards those goals.
The term was founded on the work of a few cognitive anthropologists, namely Barbara Rogoff (1985) and Jean Lave, who attempted to explain and describe learning that occurs in apprenticeship situations. Later, Lave, in collaboration with Etienne Wenger (1991) originated the construct legitimate peripheral participation in their studies of five apprenticeship situations: midwives in the Yucatan, Vai and Gola tailors, naval quartermasters, meat cutters, and a group of alcoholics anonymous. From their development of legitimate peripheral participation, they created the term community of practice to refer to communities of practitioners into which newcomers would enter and attempt to acquire the sociocultural practices of the community. - Wikipedia
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