The Critical and Historical View in Communities of Practice (CoP) for the Development in Education

Neli Maria Mengalli (Pontifical Catholic University – PUC-SP, Brasil) and José Armando Valente (Pontifical Catholic University – PUC-SP, Brasil)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 316
EISBN13: 9781616921637|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-878-9.ch019
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This chapter describes the training course for school managers for the use of information and communication technology (ICT) that was developed at Sao Paulo Pontifical Catholic University, (PUC-SP), Brazil. This was a blended course, using face-to-face and online activities, providing school managers with the experience of using ICT to share experiences, and to learn about effective ways of using ICT for school management. Even though the school managers had no previous experience with technology they succeed in changing their working reality and understanding the use of ICT to interact, exchange documents and organize their ideas. This experience has produced two other important results. One is the interaction that enables the formation of collaborative networks and partnership among school managers. Social and cultural practices were considered for analysis concerning the subjects that contributed to the creation of the ICT culture in the school. The authors have considered this network and the building of this community as the seed of a community of practice (CoP), as proposed by Wenger (1998a). Second, it was possible to see a close relationship between Wenger’s theory and Freire’s (2003) educational approach, which showed that social transformations are constructed on the basis of participants’ will and in the presence of leadership in a historic moment.
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