Teacher Education in CALL
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Chapter 18. Communities of Practice for Pre- and In-service Teacher Education
Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, California State University, Sacramento, USA
Within months of obtaining teacher certification, instructors find that what they have studied about computers and technology in language learning has become obsolete. This chapter discusses the concept of communities of practice (CoP) as a means of ongoing, just-in-time, pre-service and in-service training for technology-using teachers. The author defines CoPs as entities more coherent and socially supportive than the typical professional association e-list or Website and offers examples from teacher groups that extend across the globe, including several different countries and languages. CoPs offer the opportunity to interact with like-minded colleagues, share expertise and mentoring, and give back what is learned in collaborative experiences both land-based and virtual. A list of CoPs and resources for their creation is found at the author's Web page, Community of Practice Resources: http://webpages.csus.edu/~hansonsm/CoP_Resources.html.
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Updated December 8, 2006