An essential element of BASIS is the Community of Practice (CoP) in which the Israel Education Coordinators of all participating schools gather regularly for peer-learning, critical colleagueship and professional development. Participation in the CoP meetings is a contractual obligation of the BASIS Coordinators.
Usually, the meetings take place at the Central Agency’s building. However, it is recommended that CoP meetings also be held at different schools, thus providing a chance for Coordinators to have a first-hand look at Israel Education at one another’s schools.
“Peoplehood starts with us,” said one school’s Coordinator, utilizing one of the underpinning conceptual frameworks of the initiative while reflecting on the importance of the CoP for creating a feeling of cohesiveness and community among the Coordinators. The Central Agency BASIS staff provided initial leadership for the CoP until the participating educators were ready to attain leadership. The CoP thus emerged as a group of educators who could help steer BASIS in partnership with the Central Agency (through planning community-wide or multi-school events and professional development programs, for instance).
All coordinators found the CoP to be of great value. It served an especially important role for those coordinators from smaller or more isolated schools.
The Israel Education Coordinators from the initial BASIS cohort have chosen to continue the CoP beyond the Initiative’s four year funding cycle. Jewish LearningWorks has agreed to continue convening and supporting the group.
Attached you will find a paper introducing the concept underline the CoP practice, an agenda from one of the CoPs and a newsletter that the coordinator wrote in a CoP in the conclusion of BASIS.