01 SES 12 B, CPD for Health Professionals
Parallel Paper Session
Chair: Andrew Davies
The issue of community of practice in the last five years has aroused considerable interest in Italy, also in the more specific field of strategies or approaches in adult training and in organisations, stimulating a few research studies.
This domain of study is in fact related to other areas of interest such as the analysis of specific forms of learning (organizational learning, network learning, etc.). Research studies on communities of practice revealed some phenomena that seem to characterize in an ever more distinctive way the modalities of spread and codification of professionals' knowledge in social groups, both in business contexts and in other training contexts. The Department of Social Pedagogy in collaboration with the CEFORC Centre of Research "Continuing training & Communication", which was created with the objective of organising activities of theoretical and applicative research in the field of continuing training and training processes in organizations, has been organising since 2004 seminars of theoretical reflection and practical application on this subject, experimenting also training activities on CodP within the University Master Gescom.
This paper aims to submit the potential of CodP training strategy for adult training in organizations, and especially in public administration and in the health sector. In particular, the potential of the approach will be studied with regard to the acquisition of technical, specialized and transversal skills in managerial field, which are considered fundamental skills for innovation. The basic idea is to study the communities of practice approach as fundamental strategy for the development of adult training interventions in organizations based on reflection and learning in practice, on cooperation and on the exchange of experiences.
The prospects opened by the studies on the communities of practice are associated with the developments in research on forms of informal, tacit and situated learning: a subject which drew particular attention during the Lisbon agenda, Europe2020 and its subsequent revisions. The trends of some CodP “best practices” used in organizations are associated with the prospect of supporting local dynamics of learning (the meta-territorial dimension) and the improvement of professional performance. These trends are based on two methodological orientations: the strengthening of processes of knowledge circulation through the interaction network among actors and the possibility to collect and spread learning processes during work practices. Another dimension of great interest related to this subject is the component related to the dimensions of organizational culture and of "climate", such as the idea of membership, participation and identity of social actors.
The paper aims to contribute to determine the descriptive and experimental conditions to validate the CodP strategy in some specific contexts related to the field of continuing training and lifelong learning. The expected transferability potential involves the various fields and contexts and it is of great importance in relation to the European framework: great attention is paid in the European documents to the issue of non formal and informal learning processes and to professional situations of peer learning.
The communities of practice (Lave and Wenger) are groups of people who share an interest or a passion for something and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better. The main objective of the thesis paper to build a tool for recognising and implementing potential or already functioning communities of practice found in complex organizations/institutions and in the wide environment offered by the internet. This tool, “Grid of Indicators and Descriptors of Communities of Practice”, was first of all intended for qualitative and quantitative assessment of the relevant factors contributing to the success of a community environment. The tool was applied to three cases of study.
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