This is your chance to imagine the ultimate group of individuals, organizations, and agencies that you would need to support and guide your work as an advocate for social change. To create this teamâ€”your Ideal Community of Practiceâ€”you will need to devote both time and thought to determining who can best help you respond to the challenge you have chosen. As you have learned, however, substantive thinking comes from substantive reading. Whenever you present suggestions for change, the power of your thinking as well as your professional credibility depends, to a large extent, on your ability to show that you have done “your homework” (i.e., you have consulted and considered information from various professional sources). As you now begin to envision your ideal community of practice, use your research skills to connect your vision with solid facts. To help you recall those skills, make sure to review the article “A Practical Guide to Reading Research Articles,” which you already know from your research course.
As you progress through the course and learn more about the challenge you have chosen, you will continue to revise your community of practice. But for now, read widely and freely about the people, agencies, and other desired participants you might want to invite to the table. Learn about individualsâ€™ backgrounds, affiliations, and professional accomplishments. Inform yourself about the essence of organizations you might consider inviting. Use the Walden Library resources, as well as credible Internet resources, to help you identify your ideal participants. The sky is the limit. This is your opportunity to create your dream team.
To help you determine who you want to include in your Ideal Community of Practice, consider the following questions:
- Who is affected by this challenge and in what ways?
- Who can provide insight because they are experiencing the challenge firsthand?
(Note: As you think about these first two key questions, you might want to review Bronfenbrennerâ€™s ecological systems theory. A link to his theory is provided in your resources for this week.)
- Who knows the facts? Who would be my partners in responding to this challenge with deep knowledge and respect for the issue and those involved?
- Who can do the research?
- Who are the power brokers?
- Who could provide resources (people, minds, money)?
- Who can serve as passion-drivers? Who would inspire, inform, and make this challenge real?
- Whose voices must be heard?
- Who would I most like to engage in continuous dialogue about this challenge?
- Who would help refine and hone this challenge?
- Which, if any, local, state, national, and/or international organizations and/or agencies should be represented? And by whom?
By Day 7
- A narrative summary that explains your selection process and describes who will be involved in your Ideal Community of Practice and for what reasons (be sure to cite, in APA, at least three sources that informed your thinking)
- A reflection on how this experience of building a community of practice has informed your thinking about collaboration and support within communities of practice
Assignment length: Approximately 2â€“3 pages