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Growing Together
Developing and Sustaining a Community of Practice in Early Childhood



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Growing Together
Developing and Sustaining a Community of Practice in Early Childhood

 

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Communities of practice are an age-old phenomenon representing teamwork. Whether it’s researchers developing treatments for a disease or educators sharing best practices to enhance early childhood learning, communities of practice are about connection and shared purpose.

Growing Together will help you define, create, and promote a community of practice to foster collaborative problem solving and enhance professional learning experiences. 

You will learn key strategies and techniques to help you:

  • Develop a shared vision and structure
  • Leverage tools to invite members and build a community
  • Build member engagement and investment
  • Master facilitation and evaluation strategies for ongoing professional learning
Kathi Gillaspy, MEd

Kathi Gillaspy, MEd, is the Director of Technical Assistance at AnLar, a D.C. based firm that provides research and policy analysis, technical assistance, and communications and IT development in the...

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Megan Vinh, PhD

Megan Vinh, Ph.D., is an Advanced Technical Assistance Specialist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dr. Vinh currently serves as the...

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Nancy Surbrook-Goins, MA

Nancy Surbrook-Goins is the training and technical assistance manager for the Office of Innovative Projects at Clinton County, MI, Regional Educational Service Agency. She is responsible for the Comprehensive System...

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Sarah Nichols, B.A.

Sarah Nichols is a professional development specialist at the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP), a program of the Department of Special Education in the College of Education at the University...

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“Growing Together is an amazing capacity building resource for anyone interested in starting, sustaining, or even participating in a CoP. It’s logical organization and inclusion of thought-provoking resources, guiding questions and checklists, and recent research could likely promote anyone’s CoP success. It’s like a new best book-friend for anyone involved with CoPs in early childhood. Thank you for your inspiring work!”

Naomi Younggren
Director of ECIS, Department of Defense


“I highly recommend the book, Growing Together, for anyone interested in starting or improving a Community of Practice (CoP). It provides adequate research and background information to get grounded in the concepts and then provides strategies for every step of the development and evaluation process to make any CoP successful. The authors include many relevant examples and case studies as well as reflection tools throughout the book. As a CoP facilitator, I am excited to use the information in the book to strengthen and energize my CoP members.”

Melissa Schnurr, PhD
CD(DONA) Education Consultant (Early ACCESS/IDEA Part C)


“Grounded in decades of wisdom and first-hand experience, Growing Together serves as an indispensable roadmap for building and sustaining safe and supportive communities of practice. With its practical, time-tested tools and strategies, this book will help to transform your approach to professional learning. Growing Together is a gift to anyone focused on fostering growth, learning, and belonging within community! ”

Susan Connor, EdM
Director, Early Intervention Training Program, University of Illinois


“If you are looking for a comprehensive guide for establishing and maintaining effective Communities of Practice, look no further. I especially appreciated the many case studies that were included, as well as the chapter study guides that are designed to promote thought and discussion. This book is a great resource for anyone wanting to start or enhance a Community of Practice.”

Teresa Byington, PhD
University of Nevada Reno; Professor and Author of Lose the Lecture: Engaging Approaches to Early Childhood Professional Learning


“Growing Together: Developing and Sustaining a Community of Practice in Early Childhood presents a thorough review of literature related Community of Practice approaches from the preeminent voices in the field. The authors have drawn from their expertise to enliven the examples presented. The format of the book is accessible with 'call-out' boxes highlighting definitions, case studies, items for further explanation, additional questions for consideration and comparative information.”

Mary Peters
Educational Consultant


“The best part of Growing Together is how effectively the breadth of information about communities of practice is conveyed. As a facilitator of an early childhood community of practice, I was interested in learning more about facilitation strategies but found much more. I would certainly recommend this title if you are interested or involved in a community of practice and want to learn more about them, in general, but particularly if you are looking for strategies to help you make the most of the opportunity. Very well written!”

Kellen Reid
TA Provider, UNC- Chapel Hill, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute


“Professionals from all backgrounds in early childhood will be pleased to see a comprehensive text on the development, structuring, facilitating, and evaluating of Communities of Practice. The text is written in an accessible manner for all audiences so it is not overly research heavy while it is clear the content is strongly based in evidence from the field. The use of case studies throughout bring the information to life and helps the readers think through the issues critically. The text is an empowering tool for professionals to think about ways to collegially share knowledge in the field for supporting young children and their families. ”

Toni Miguel
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Advanced Doctoral Candidate



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