The demands of the double shift: communities of practice in continuing professional development

Karen Ann McArdle, Aileen Ackland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Discussion of communities of practice in workplace learning is widespread. Here the authors seek to consider how we can make use of communities of practice theory in practical teaching in a formal undergraduate educational context. The concept of what the authors call the double shift is discussed; a shift from the workplace as community of practice to the educational institution then the shift back from the educational context to the workplace. The authors describe methods used to manage the transition between different communities based on reflection linked to the development of Continuing Professional Development programmes. They conclude that the learning that takes place in an educational context is in a dynamic relationship with the community of practice of the workplace and the methods proposed can contribute positively to this relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-120
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Vocational Education and Training
Issue number1
Early online date15 Feb 2007
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


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