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ERIC Number: ED526905
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Pages: 54
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
Communities of Practice: A New Approach to Solving Complex Educational Problems
Cashman, J.; Linehan, P.; Rosser, M.
Idea Partnership
Communities of Practice offer state agency personnel a promising approach for engaging stakeholder groups in collaboratively solving complex and, often, persistent problems in special education. Communities of Practice can help state agency personnel drive strategy, solve problems, promote the spread of best practices, develop members' professional skills and help organizations recruit and retain talent. Communities of Practice is not a formula or a recipe. Rather, it is a way for state agency personnel to "do" work. Work is done through community--in other words, one does not "do community" and then do work elsewhere. State agency personnel engage stakeholders in interacting, sharing knowledge and determining action steps in the course of solving complex problems. As such, state agency personnel accomplish state goals through communities. The purpose of this guide is to provide an overview of the Communities of Practice approach that the IDEA Partnership has developed in the field of special education. Chapters include information on: (1) the IDEA Partnership's Communities of Practice approach, including guiding principles and the phases of community building; (2) how state agency personnel are using Communities of Practice to improve outcomes for students with disabilities; and (3) how to create and implement Communities of Practice.
Idea Partnership. Available from: National Association of State Directors of Special Education. 1800 Diagonal Road Suite 320, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 703-519-3800; Fax: 703-519-3808; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), IDEA Partnership; Office of Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act