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Just What Is a CoP

Just What Is a CoP?

“Communities of practice are groups of people who share a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”  Etienne Wenger

Professional development and ongoing learning can take many forms, and one that has much to offer us in early childhood education (ECE) is that of participating in a Community of Practice or “CoP”.  The term was first used in 1991 by theorists Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger. They defined a Community of Practice as “a process of social learning that occurs when people who have a common interest in a subject or area collaborate over an extended period of time, share ideas and strategies, determine solutions, and build innovations.”  What makes a CoP unique from other learning is that it must have three components: (1) A shared domain of interest (in our case, ECE); (2) A community of learners who build relationships, support each other, and share knowledge; and (3) An intentional focus on growing their practice.

This year our Initiative will offer a CoP, focused on deepening understanding of what it means to be an Anti-Bias Educator and how this work is grounded in core Jewish values. Our world is diverse and complex and as early childhood educators, we have a responsibility to grow our understanding of how we can best support children in navigating it.  Participants will receive a copy of the 2020 edition of Anti-Bias Education for Young Children & Ourselves by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards. The seven-session series, launching in October 2020, will be facilitated by Natalie Drucker Boscoe and offers follow-up coaching to support participants in integrating new knowledge into their practice.  If you are interested in joining a cohort of passionate educators who want to deepen understanding of the four goals of Anti-Bias Education related to Identity, Diversity, Justice & Activism, and bring this learning back to their schools, be on the lookout in the coming weeks for more information on how to apply. This CoP is open to educators working in our Jewish ECE Initiative centers upon review of application and approval from their director.  For more information, contact Judi Morosohk at .