Community of Practice: A Multicultural Classroom at the Graduate Level
Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal
This paper is a report of a qualitative work done in a course that was chosen to be my Community of Practice (Wenger, 1998) for one semester in a western Canadian University with my participation as an international exchange student as participant-observer.
The main purpose of the study is to examine through grounded theory, obtained from different data sources, how cultural differences in a multicultural Community of Practice (COP) were influencing participation and non-participation, how the negotiated relation between them were shaping dynamics, and dynamics were shaping participation and non-participation, in order that some of the COP member’s voice could be heard.
With eight members in the COP and the professor; seven cultures were represented within these nine persons. Interviews, observations, field notes, a journal, and postings were the sources from which the data were collected, analyzed, and codified. Cultural differences and participation were the main themes obtained as a result of the analyses. Participation, interaction, class organization, and a professor-centered class were further discussed as main topics that emerged from the grounded theory.