Home » Welcome to the SDGs-in-the-Classroom Community of Practice

Welcome to the SDGs-in-the-Classroom Community of Practice

A full size image of the graphic representation of ideas from the community of practice
Drawing Change COP Graphic

Sam Bradd of Drawing Change created this graphic recording. It was drawn live during a 3.5-hour visioning session in 2022, where members of the Community of Practice (COP) met to explore why the SDGs were important to them and their curriculum, what they envisioned a COP to be and do, and what next steps might enable success.  

Repost and use this image (unaltered), with credit to the SDGs-in-the-Classroom Community of Practice @ York University and Sam Bradd of Drawing Change, for non-commercial and educational purposes. 

What is a Community of Practice?

"Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly"

— Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, 2015 

To learn more view Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner, 2015

The concept of Community of Practice was proposed in 1991 by cognitive anthropologist Jean Lave and educational theorist Etienne Wenger in their book titled Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. The concept was further discussed in detail by Wenger in his book titled Communities of Practice: learning meaning and identity in 1998. 

A Community of Practice (COP) is formed when a group of people come together to achieve shared goals or work towards a common interest by mobilizing the expertise and shared experiences of the group. Mainly, the emphasis is on sharing best practices and developing new knowledge related to the common interest of the group to achieve both individual and group goals. Continuous and consistent interaction is key to the success of the COP. 

In the book Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity Beverly Wenger-Trayner says that COPs have three distinct features: 

  • A domain: an area of shared interest or common concern. 
  • Practice: the focus area around which the group develops, shares, and maintains knowledge, experiences, and techniques. 
  • Community: a group of self-selected individuals that are involved in regular interaction to advance a shared domain of interest. The group is involved in discussions, conversations, consultations, joint actions, knowledge sharing, problem-solving and establishment of strong relationships among the members. 

What is the SDGs-in-the-Classroom Community of Practice at York?

The SDGs-in-the Classroom Community of Practice  (COP) at York is created with a vision to track, weave, amplify and inspire the infusion of the SDGs into the curriculum. It is for York faculty and instructors who are involved or interested in infusing the SDGs into the curriculum across the campus.  

Using a co-creation approach, the COP fosters the ability of group members to achieve shared objectives to incorporate SDGs into curricula and build upon each other's expertise and experience. The COP will help identify curricular champions and develop resources to enable faculty to ‘see the SDGs’ in their respective courses and classroom activities.  

The COP group members, known as SDG Curricular Champions, will support and mentor other faculty in the university to understand the latest pedagogical thinking on how to integrate SDGs into learning and teaching activities. The COP envisions a greater engagement with students and faculty to share and enhance the use of best practices in infusing the SDGs into the curriculum.  

There are more than 60 members of the COP including faculty members, instructors, administrative professionals, and students from York University.  

SDGs-in-the-Classroom Community of Practice Co-chairs

Sandra Peniston, Assistant Professor

School of Nursing, Faculty of Health

Nitima Bhatia, Doctoral Student

Faculty of Education