Learning in a community of practice
From the beginning, WAVE works as a community of practice (CoP) towards a practice-oriented partnership. Learning in a CoP is different from learning in a school or training room. It happens because all participants, each with their own background, are part of a community with a similar practice and passion. Together they look for meanings relevant to their own experience with regard to challenging behaviour. As a result, what will be learned cannot be determined precisely in advance. In an age where identity (Who am I? Who do I want to become?) is a very relevant question for the learning employee, CoPs can have great influence.
Our choice of a CoP is motivated by a perspective on learning that calls for caution. Learning about people with severe or moderate intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour cannot be improved by instrumentalising it. But it can be made better by persevering in the search for immersion, by examining oneself, focusing on the positive, and consciously resisting the application of existing concepts and models.
In this respect, our approach differs from traditional learning theories in which knowledge transfer and acquisition are central.