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Communities of Practice

SpeciaLink’s Inclusive Community of Practice (CoP) approach helps to provide expertise and assistance and facilitate knowledge exchange and relationship building within Canada’s early learning and child care communities. SpeciaLink helps to inspire, educate, support and inform Canadians to become more inclusive, beginning in the early years. SpeciaLink serves as a nexus for community building and collaboration between academics, researchers and students, parents of children with special support needs and early childhood practitioners in Manitoba and across the country.

What is a community of practice (CofP)?

In Evidence Based Practice in the Early Childhood Field, Buyese and Wesley (2006) recommend the community of practice approach as an effective way to bridge the apparent divide between early childhood consumers and researchers. Communities of practice are focused on a domain of knowledge and over time accumulate expertise in this domain. They develop their shared practice by interacting around problems, solutions, and insights, and building a common store of knowledge (Wenger, 2001). A community of practice has the following attributes, as adapted from A CoP Indicators Checklist--FPG Child Development Institute.


  • Joint enterprise
  • Diverse membership
  • Participatory framework


  • Mutuality/Sense of Community
  • Sharing and Exchanging of Knowledge
  • Reflection
  • Reproduction Cycle/Continuity


  • Action Orientation
  • Construction of new knowledge
  • Dissemination of Knowledge

Inclusion supporters are invited to post information to this site to share information about their own local work to promote inclusion. Please contact us for more information.

SpeciaLink: The National Centre for Child Care Inclusion
76 Cottage Road,
Sydney, NS  B1P 2C7
Phone (902) 562-1662
FAX (902) 539-9117
Contact us by email

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