Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 79–92 | Cite as

Interpreting a Community of Practice Perspective in Discipline-Specific Professional Development in Higher Education

  • Maria L. BlantonEmail author
  • Despina A. Stylianou


Through this study we explored a community of practice framework applied to faculty professional development at a mid-size state university in order to examine the issues unique to discipline-specific professional development in higher education. Through content-focused professional development activities conducted by the authors, several key areas were identified that point to challenges in building a faculty community of teaching practice: (a) the need for a culture of professional development, (b) developing old-timers and recruiting newcomers, (c) the need for teaching scholars to coordinate professional development, (d) challenging the “culture of service”, and (e) the need for a language to mediate thinking about practice.

Key words

faculty professional development community of practice situated learning mathematics teacher education 



The research reported here was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. REC-0337703. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The James J. Kaput Center for Research and Innovation in Mathematics EducationUniversity of Massachusetts DartmouthFairhavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of Secondary EducationCity College of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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