Community of Practice (CoP)

A Community of Practice is a group of people who share a concern for an area of practice and interact regularly to problem solve, share resources and develop new ways of doing.1


  • Shared area of interest = children's mental health
  • Diverse stakeholders = parents, teachers, para-educators, occupational therapists, speech therapists, PE teachers, cafe- teria and recess supervisors, principals, etc.

Who belongs to a Community of Practice? A diverse group of stakeholders who care about and are influenced by the topic and potential work. A diverse group of stakeholders bring a variety of views about the topic. Their shared work results in greater impact than if the work is completed by a small number of stakeholders.

Leading by Convening - sm

What do CoPs do?

  • Meet routinely (~ every 2 months)
  • Commit to community-building based on trusting relationships
  • Share knowledge, perspectives and resources
  • Engage in dialogue
  • Take action based on shared doing

Involving diverse stakeholders leads to — greater collective impact

1 Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder, W. M. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice: A guide to managing knowledge. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Refer to website:
2 Cashman, J., Linehan, P., Purcell, P., Rosser, M., Schultz, S., & Skalski, S. (2014). Leading by convening: A blueprint for authentic engagement. Alexandria: VA: National Association of State Directors of Special Education. Retrieved from