What is the ‘Community of Practice’?

Communities of Practice are groups of people who share concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis.” While these communities may organize naturally, the challenge of ‘stewarding’ or cultivating such communities – making their ‘practice’ more proactive and systematic… may be the keystone to leveraging the benefits of participation in all levels of society.

Cultivating Communities of Practice,

Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott, William M. Synder

And as defined by Partners in Participation   – our Community of Practice is a Learning Community of ToP® facilitation practitioners intent on

  • Practicing, supporting, coaching around the ToP facilitation methods
  • Sharing best practices, monthly queries, daily discoveries
  • Finding ‘practice field situations’ that might be shared with the group
  • Earnestly exploring the ‘community of practice’ concept

This is a learning cohort rather than a ‘training’ environment. We intend to create a structure that allows for planned facilitation practice as well as ‘as needed’ facilitation design coaching, which gives space for impromptu conversation and for disciplined ‘best practices’ in facilitation. In 2019 we will rotate roles, review our successes and challenges, and share in ‘facilitating’ learning cohorts. Join us in this adventure! Participation in the Community of Practice is included in the Mastering the Technology of Participation program year-long program (‘MToP’) and is recommended for those interested in becoming a Certified ToP Facilitator.

Gather the 1st Friday of each month, Arizona Center for Youth Resources (ACYR) at 648 N. 5th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003.  1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Our structure:  Agenda facilitation roles are claimed each month for the next month’s session.  These include (for example) facilitating an opener, sharing facilitation challenges, facilitation design, evaluation, the closing.  Each of us attends as often as we can.  This is not another ‘organization’ that you join, it is an on-going and fluid learning cohort that is a collegial resource and support for your work and learning path.

2020 Community of Practice Calendar 

Dates to be revised as needed so please email or call your intention to attend, in case the group has shifted the session marilyn.oyler@gmail.com 602-468-0605


May 1, 2020

September 4, 2020

October 2, 2020

November 6, 2020

December 4, 2020