This chapter addresses the significance and importance of communities of practice in the professional development of academics as university teachers. Its documents the role of communities of practice in enabling and enhancing the development of a professional knowledge base, the acquisition of skills, and competencies for effective teaching practice, as well as the dissemination of practical knowledge needed within a community of teaching practitioners. It provides details of how a community of practice comes into being, and how working relations within a community of practice are fostered. There is an elaboration on how members of a community of practice come to perceive their substantive issues the same way, and how a common agenda is formed around those issues. It also discusses peculiar ways of dealing with the identified issues, and the manner in which expertise, resources, resourcefulness and experiences are exchanged and shared with improvement, change and further development of academics’ teaching practices in sight.
Part of the book: Interpersonal Relationships