This chapter describes the Sustainability Focused Community of Practice (SFCoP) at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. The SFCoP is a diverse group of academics committed to teaching and assessing a complex and contested concept. The SFCoP emerged in response to an institutional requirement that graduates from all programs needed to demonstrate the graduate attribute of sustainability focused. A single convener used course outlines to identify the community of academics that taught and assessed sustainability and invited them to join the SFCoP. The intention of formally creating a SFCoP was to negotiate the boundaries of the domain, consolidate the body of knowledge that was disaggregated across the university, and to enlarge the set of best practice materials for common use. In addition to outlining the origins of the CoP, this chapter provides practitioner accounts of the role that the SFCoP played in enhancing the incorporation of sustainability content in the fields of English literature, environmental economics, public health, sustainability and planning. The different academic voices highlight how individuals drew benefit from this alternative social learning space. Common elements included a reduced sense of isolation, an expanded understanding of the domain, and the enlargement and fortification of a permissible space in which to explore how to best teach a difficult concept.
Implementing Communities of Practice in Higher Education: Dreamers and Schemers / McDonald, Jacquie and Cater-Steel, Aileen (eds): pp.281-302