Using theory to inform capacity-building: Bootstrapping communities of practice in computer science education research

Fincher, Sally and Tenenberg, Josh (2006) Using theory to inform capacity-building: Bootstrapping communities of practice in computer science education research. Journal of Engineering Education, 95 (4). pp. 265-278. ISSN 1069-4730. (Full text available)

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Abstract

In this paper, we describe our efforts in the deliberate creation of a community of practice of researchers in computer science education (CSEd). We understand community of practice in the sense in which Wenger describes it, whereby the community is characterized by mutual engagement in a joint enterprise that gives rise to a shared repertoire of knowledge, artefacts, and practices. We first identify CSEd as a research field in which no shared paradigm exists, and then we describe the Bootstrapping project, its metaphor, structure, rationale, and delivery, as designed to create a community of practice of CSEd researchers. Features of other projects are also outlined that have similar aims of capacity building in disciplinary-specific pedagogic enquiry. A theoretically derived framework for evaluating the success of endeavours of this type is then presented, and we report the results from an empirical study. We conclude with four open questions for our project and others like it: Where is the locus of a community of practice? Who are the core members? Do capacity-building models transfer to other disciplines? Can our theoretically motivated measures of success apply to other projects of the same nature?

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Computing > Computing Education Group
Depositing User: Mark Wheadon
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2008 18:03
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2011 01:31
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/14398 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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