What Precludes Community of Practice from Functioning?

Abstract

This paper presents a qualitative case study about the early experiences of newly graduated teachers of English in post-conflict Libya. The research question is what are the newly graduated teachers’ perceptions of their experiences during their first year of teaching in post- conflict Libya? The methods employed were: semi-structured interviews, observations and documents. English Language teachers were interviewed three times, and observed twice. The study also included other administrative staff of relevance to teacher training and development. Communities of Practice (Wenger, 1998) as a social theory of learning, is the conceptual framework upon which the research is based. This theory sees practice as central to the community, and through it people establish relationships, learn through participation and build identities. I traced the extent to which community of practice was experienced by the newly graduated teachers, old colleagues and the expert teachers in the post-conflict Libyan context. The findings revealed that there were some significant factors that overlapped in formulating the teachers’ experiences. One of the greatest factors was that antagonism emerged as a result of that bloody conflict which exacerbates other social and cultural perspectives. The trilogy with its dimensions; the political and social and personal values worked together and precluded Community of practice from existence.



Author Information
Fatma Al-Shabani Abusrewel, University of Huddersfield, UK

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2015
Stream: Conflicting perspectives in learning and teaching

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