ERIC Number: ED454188
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Formal and Informal Learning: Incorporating Communities of Practice into Professional Development.
This paper examines the focus on formal training and proposes a new way of incorporating communities of practice into professional development. It describes formal and informal learning found in organizations and discusses the implications of using communities of practice to foster professional development. Data collection involved observations in one public defender's office between October 1998 and March 1999, examining the daily work practices of attorneys, shadowing two attorneys during their work days, sitting in on two jury trials, visiting the local jail, and attending various social gatherings. Interviews related to learning experiences in this community were conducted with seven attorneys at the beginning and end of the fieldwork. The first interviews were relatively general, and the second interviews focused on specific incidents occurring during the observations. Newsletters and a Web site provided by the public defender council were also reviewed. Data analysis indicated that public defenders engaged in informal learning through conversations with colleagues, reflection, and practice. Formal learning opportunities mainly involved required continuing legal education (CLE). Most of the attorneys were positive about the CLE, and they generally valued both formal and informal learning. (Contains 25 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Indiana Univ., Bloomington. Univ. Graduate School.; Indiana Univ., Bloomington. Div. of Instructional Systems Technology.; National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: N/A