Central practitioners’ developing legitimate peripheral participation in a community of practice for changing schools

David Woo


As new technologies continue to shape society, there has been a greater need for communities of practice to facilitate changing teaching and learning practices through technology in schools. Legitimate peripheral participation through these communities of practice has become an essential means to spread and support this technology integration movement, but understanding this participation in communities has been limited. This paper reports on a study of how central practitioners developed legitimate peripheral participation episodes in an inter-organisational, international community of practice. It describes the qualitative, case study approach to the study, and outlines the community of practice, its central practitioners and the legitimate peripheral participation episodes in which they participated. The paper presents and discusses essential central practitioner individual and organisational factors which enabled the continuity and change of legitimate peripheral participation episodes in the community. Individual factors to emerge from the study include central practitioners’ desire for continuous professional development and individual agency. Organisational factors include an organisation’s distinctive mission, its distinctive roles, and constant negotiation, including conflicts of interest, between organisations and their members. The paper concludes with considerations of the value and relevance of legitimate peripheral participation in an inter-organisational community of practice for changing practices.



community of practice; legitimate peripheral participation; technology integration; schools

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.314

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