Community of practice: The time is now!

Map of Online Communities

Image by D'Arcy Norman via Flickr

Someone once said to me this: “Do we need school in the future, when knowledge has become more accessible for everyone, and skills are better trained in the real life challenges?”

It was quite striking, to be honest. I’m an advocate of school. And probably, most of us are. Yet, I can’t deny that today, we need talents more than just graduates. We need people who can get things done, in whatever they choose or required to do.

Go to school is one proven way to become a talent in certain things. But, it’s not the only way.

Today, we have the internet that teach so many people to do things. We have many communities of practice where people with similar interest and talent come together to enhance their capabilities by practicing with each other. Internet and community of practice are two building blocks of today’s talent development.

The way I see it, internet is the new library and community of practice is the new school.

I learn about community of practice for the first time from Jean Singer, my professor when I was doing my postgraduate study. This concept is about building a community for learning that consist of practitioners from interdependent field of work and interest. It’s a blend of potential talents with internal motivation who comes to the community of their choosing, to practice and collaborate with seasoned practitioners from the field.

It’s emphasizing on collaborative learning based on explorative experience of a certain interest. It provides an opportunity to practice creatively what we have been cognitively aware of. Something that supposedly provided by school system.

Or, something that used to be provided by school, but seems to be lost in the middle of the growing distance between school’s pride and evolving society.

 

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

4 responses to “Community of practice: The time is now!

  1. school is not the same as it used to be, especially in Indonesia. It has lost its reason of existence. School kills creativity, curiosity, become the nest of neo-feudalism mentality, lost its genuine standards and indicators, and basically lost its spirit. That is why many people don’t trust school anymore, especially in Indonesia. We need to bring school back to basic, to its reason of existence.

    • Yes, it sounds very timely, especially with lots of educational problems (Siami case, UAN, etc.)human capital issues (Ruyati, etc.). These are only the tip of the iceberg, though. We’re not just talking about educational or school system here. It’s an enormous-massive-systemic issue of future economic investment and the next generation of Indonesia in general.

      This issue has been there for a long time, but was covered by our denial. And the ironic part is that we deny the decreasing substance through seemingly intelligent indicators, such as academic credentials, scores, grants and publications. I’m not saying these are false indicators. In fact, they are good indicators. But Indonesia has forgotten that any indicators will just be staged results, if there is nothing has been done to seriously improve the process.

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