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An Action Research on Applying Community of Practice in the Field of Early Childhlood Education and Care
community of practice
the leader of community
Longing for the learning style of community of practice, the researcher invitedcore members from the alumni association in the Department of Early Childhood Education and Care, Minghsin University of Science and Technology, who are mainly experienced heads of kindergartens or day care centers. This study adopted action research method in order to develop cooperative relationship of members as co-leaders in the community of practice. By co-decision, the members started the interaction of community of practice in the way of action reading group and they were open to anyone who was interested. The strategies of operating the community included: reading books about action practice or management, brainstorming action ideas for the kindergartens and day care centers, asking questions to stimulate reflection, and proposing action projects which could help members to take actions at their work sites. There were affective activities to improve the feeling of comfort and trust in the community. In addition, an internet forum was built for members to exchange mutual reflection. Any loss of members in the community was due to different individual needs, identity and value. The abundant sharing from members in the process of the reading group included: the practical strategies and methods in the field of early childhood education and care, the reflective dialogues about reading contents, and the affective memories or life experience. The difficulty in the process included: the internet forum was hard to maintain because the members were limited in skill in writing on internet; and the companions were not easy to show the depth in reflective process of action because of their busyness at work sites. The members of the community met a lot of difficulties from their environments during the study period. The researcher played multiple roles as companion’s caregiver, community service provider, key knowledge interpreter and action inspirer. The community has being operated for more than two years and is still running. The empowerment of individual practice was related to professional reflection. Following the rhythm of the community, the core value was infused to build up common vision and enhance the action power.
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