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ERIC Number: EJ973636
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-1443-1394
Communities of Practice in a Voluntary Youth Organisation: Reaching for the Sky and Building Social Capital
Chan, Bill; Short, Tom
Australian Journal of Adult Learning, v51 spec iss p123-149 Dec 2011
The study is situated within a national youth organisation called the Australian Air League Inc (Air League). We examine the recent progress of the Air League in South Australia, starting as a loose network of volunteers engaged in a sporadic array of activities, to become a learning community that worked collaboratively and then developed further as a potential community of practice. This process involved sharing across boundaries in a way that was previously construed as undesirable as local achievement was seen as more important than the development of the larger community. In part, this paper takes the form of a personal narrative and draws insights from observations and interpretations during 2009-2010. Highlighting issues arising from the complexity of developing collaborative models of practice across organisational boundaries and competitive entities, we delve into challenges around maintaining devotion to one's immediate unit while sharing experience and building capacity in the wider community. This includes gaining agreement to action, facing the fear of sharing diverse knowledge with new people, being found wanting, and working across organisational hierarchies in a setting characterised by uniform and a disciplined rank structure. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
Adult Learning Australia. Level 1, 32 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT 2603, Australia. Tel: +61-02-6274-9515; Fax: +61-02-6274-9513; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia