Communities of practice in community-university engagement: Supporting co-productive resilience research & practice

Ceri Davies, Angela Hart, Suna Eryigit-Madzwamuse, Claire Stubbs, Kim Aumann, Kay Aranda, Becky Heaver

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


For the last 10 years, we have been exploring Communities of Practice (CoPs) as both a conceptual and practical approach to community-university engagement, most notably in our work on resilience with children, young people and families. We have found elements of CoP theory and practice to be a powerful and pragmatic way to approach many of the tensions, considerations and nuances of this work. This chapter focuses on our experiences (academics and community partners) of running a CoP with a diverse membership that meets monthly to discuss, disagree and debate about resilience research and practice. We outline those theoretical areas we have found invaluable in getting us started with CoPs, but we also discuss where we have found ourselves needing to develop our own approaches to help us with the complex circumstances and systems, rather than within one single domain. We identify a series of paradoxes that we have to navigate in making our CoP work - particularly the tensions between being social but intentional in our practice, and how we can disentangle the blend of participation and learning that occurs in our CoP space. We conclude by turning to the future, to consider the conceptual development that might be helpful in this area and to reflect on the potential of supporting co-productive research and practice in pursuing social goals through communities of practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunities of practice: facilitating social learning in higher education
EditorsJ. McDonald, A. Cater-Steel
Place of PublicationSingapore
ISBN (Electronic)9789811028793
ISBN (Print)9789811028779
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Publication series

NameHigher Education Dynamics


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