Nurturing inclusivity and professional growth among vocational teachers through communities of practice
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This article critically examines the intricate balance between instrumentalism and the pursuit of a comprehensive perspective within higher education. Specifically, the study investigates the experiences of vocational teachers enrolled in a master’s program at a Norwegian university, as they grapple with the challenge of reconciling academic requisites with their vocational expertise. Drawing on the transformative conduit of ‘communities of practice’ introduced by Lave and Wenger, the research addresses this multifaceted undertaking. Embracing an educational approach that values adult learners’ prior experiences, the article advocates for the cultivation of communities of practice. This approach facilitates the exchange of insights and collaborative learning, empowering vocational teachers to adeptly navigate the academic landscape while integrating their vocational wisdom. The analysis illustrated how the program’s curriculum, incorporation of real-world experiences, and development of diverse study techniques can enhance learning outcomes. Through Lave and Wenger’s theoretical framework and its practical application, the article contributes to the discourse on fostering inclusivity within higher education. Centring on vocational teachers, who bring invaluable practical experiences, our study emphasises the potential to nurture engagement, bridge the gap between past experiences and the acquisition of new knowledge and skills, and ultimately cultivate a more inclusive and impactful academic environment.