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Developing strategies for communities of practice

Eric C.K. Cheng (Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong SRA, China)
John C.K. Lee (Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong SRA, China)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 5 August 2014



The purpose of this paper is to explore strategies to develop communities of practice (CoP) to improve teaching in a school context.


A cross-sectional questionnaire is developed to collect data from participants in a project that aims to cultivate a CoP to improve their small class teaching skills. A total of 125 teachers from 35 primary schools participated in the survey. A structural equation model is used to explore the predictive power of the strategies on all three of the CoP elements.


Content strategy is confirmed as the predictor of all the CoP elements, while process strategy is a predictor only for joint enterprise and shared repertoire.

Practical implications

The application of these strategies to develop a CoP in schools involves designing a reflective and collaborative learning content, as well as monitoring, regulating and streamlining the learning process.


The study contributes an empirical framework to the research of CoP and practical guides for school leaders to facilitate knowledge sharing in CoPs.



The authors wish to acknowledge the support of the Centre for Small Class Teaching of The Hong Kong Institute of Education through the Research Seed Fund.


C.K. Cheng, E. and C.K. Lee, J. (2014), "Developing strategies for communities of practice", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 751-764.



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