Communities of Practice (CoP)
What is CoP?
A CoP is a group of people with a shared goal—to improve their practice. Guided by a facilitator, they “meet” during regularly scheduled conference calls, via an online discussion area, and in person, when opportunities arise. Through this peer-to-peer collaboration, members of the CoPs are able to: generate knowledge directly related to the work they do; utilize that knowledge back in their schools; and reflect on results in order to make further modifications, as needed. This iterative cycle yields more knowledge that can be widely disseminated to the field.
What do members of a CoP actually do when they meet?
Members address topics determined by their shared needs, interests, and concerns. Their phone-based and online discussions may be stimulated by one or more catalysts; e.g., an invited expert, PowerPoint slides, articles, a role play, an interview, artifacts or tools, or case studies. These catalysts serve as a springboard for sharing information, solving problems, and exchanging information and resources.
How is the knowledge used?
There is an expectation that the members will not only translate new ideas into practice back at their schools, but also share the results of what they are learning with each other–to continue the learning cycle. In addition, the knowledge generated within the CoP is further disseminated to others at the members’ schools, and by PEJE to the wider community of Jewish day schools (through its website, publications, e-newsletter, and other sources).
What is the value of CoPs?
Participants have found that by forming relationships with others within a CoP, they feel less isolated. They feel validated, understood and supported by others who daily are doing the same kind of work. They are delighted with the speed in which they receive answers to questions posted online. As one member said, “We can discuss problems and explore solutions with people who are dealing with the same kinds of issues.”
How can I join a CoP?
PEJE currently supports three CoPs: Admission, Affordability, and Development. These CoPs always welcome new members. If you are interested in reaching out, connecting, learning, sharing, and reflecting, please follow the link to the page for each CoP for contact information.