Board Development: Governing Boards as Communities of Practice

By Terry Shields.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Boards of trustees govern our schools, colleges, child care centers and universities. Their governance responsibilities come with pressures of intense scrutiny, high accountabilities, liabilities for financial solvency, dramatic variations in funding and changing knowledge requirements. Responsibility for ensuring institutional wellbeing and longevity rests primarily with trustees. Yet, most trustees have had no formal governance training, and criticisms of available training suggest that it does not help trustees to develop the deep knowledge necessary to govern effectively. This paper treats board governance as a social practice, highlights the situated nature of board governance where learning and social participation are mutually dependent on each other, and discusses board development from the perspective of boards as informal communities of practice.

Keywords: Board Governance, Board Members, Board Development, Situated Learning, Communities of Practice

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp.89-96. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 545.201KB).

Terry Shields

PhD Student, Brock University, Faculty of Education, Dundas, Ontario, Canada

Terry Shields is a Doctoral Student at Brock University,Canada. Her research interests focus on effective governance in organizations and institutions in the nonprofit and public sectors. As a practitioner, she works with boards and community groups to develop and sustain effective governance and leadership practices.

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