Professional Development on an International Scale: Council of Europe - Pestalozzi Programme Virtual Community of Practice

Pascale Mompoint Gaillard
Pestalozzi programme, France

Visnja Rajic
University of Zagreb, Croatia


Communities of practice as organisations of learning have developed different forms as: task-based, practice-based or knowledge based communities. The paper presents a case study of a successful community of practice developed under the umbrella of Council of Europe Pestalozzi programme for teacher development. The programme itself is transformative, enabling the combination of a number of processes and conditions of learning. One of the most important ways of supporting teacher learning and professional development for education professionals is through ongoing activities within the virtual community of practice (vCoP). The core content of the vCoP is organised in specialised sub-groups/rooms linked to projects of the Pestalozzi programme. Participants in activities of the Pestalozzi Programme are invited to become members of the vCoP. Open rooms (public spaces) exist for the benefit of the community at large. Open rooms are accessible to every member without invitation and there you find discussions and exchanges of interest to the whole community. The vCoP of the Pestalozzi Programme seeks to promote and provide opportunities for collaboration through community building. It develops a community model for supporting learning and promotes learner engagement with members and in educational settings in Europe and elsewhere. It engages members in learner-centred, pro-motive interaction to foster connection and a sense of belonging. Participants voice their feeling of belonging and identity. This paper presents the opportunities and challenges inherent to such an endeavour.

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