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Australian Teacher Education Association, Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) (Albury, Jun 28-Jul 1, 2009)

Communities of practice challenge the traditional notion of learning as receiving knowledge which is essentially disembodied from practice. A community of practice is grounded by two central tenets: essentially that learning is situated, and that practice is made meaningful through reflection with others who engage in the shared experience. In this study professional partnerships were formed between academics from the University of Western Sydney, Charles Sturt University and teachers from a cluster of four schools in the Parramatta Diocese. The purpose of the professional partnerships were to create dynamic learning communities committed to reflection and to enhancing teaching practice to improve student learning outcomes. Acting as "brokers" in the emerging "community of practice" (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998), the academics engaged with school project teams and whole school staff in professional development activities including professional learning plans and authentic assessment. This paper reports on the creation and sustainability of the community of practice from the perspectives of one of the academics involved in a secondary school and the school project team in one primary school. (Contains 1 table.)

Descriptors: Communities of Practice, Faculty Development, Partnerships in Education, Professional Development, Reflection, Educational Practices, Sustainability, Group Dynamics, College School Cooperation, Foreign Countries, Interviews, Case Studies, Journal Writing, Participant Satisfaction, Teacher Attitudes

Australian Teacher Education Association. e-mail: secretary[at]; Web site:

Autor: Clarke, Maggie; Clarke, Deb


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