Community of Practice

Etienne Wenger has explained a community of practice in this way:

"Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning in a shared domain of human endeavour: a tribe learning to survive, a band of artists seeking new forms of expression, a group of engineers working on similar problems, a clique of pupils defining their identity in the school, a network of surgeons exploring novel techniques, a gathering of first-time managers helping each other cope. In a nutshell: Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly." (Wenger, quoted at

Wenger argues that our identity is bound up in the way we learn and share knowledge. By coming together in a community or participating in a ‘social learning system’, we are able to cascade or acquire knowledge and understanding (Wenger, 2000).

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