Allen, Shirley and Miller, Paul (2011) Extending teacher professionalism: engagement with others through communities of practice. In: First International Conference on Emerging Research, November, 2011, Middlesex University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Should professionals in education be defined as technicians, whose role is externally constructed or should they be responsive to the diverse individual contexts in which they work (Cable and Miller, 2011)? If schools develop as ‘communities of practice’ (Lave and Wenger, 1991), practitioner enquiry and reflective practice becomes the ‘norm’. Communicative spaces enable professionals to be reflective and reflexive (Dahlberg and Moss, 2005). It is the processing of evidence (the ability and opportunity to reflect) and think critically about practice that enables new understandings to be developed and shared (Appleby, 2010). In being able to explore practice and by seeking new meanings, teachers and professionals recognise multiple forms of action and expertise, which are continually being reshaped (Cable and Miller, 2011).

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