Unspun Heroes: An Example of Intergenerational Learning and Community Action


  • Kathy Snow University of Prince Edward Island
  • Janice Tulk Cape Breton University


andragogy, community of practice, learning design, informal education, motivation


According to community support advocates in XX, YY there are few formal opportunities for adult continuing education available locally. This challenges notions of community health, which outline that healthy communities are among other factors, identified as communities in which all members are highly interconnected and supported. The Unspun Heroes is an informal fibre arts group committed to learning and developing skills related to local fibre arts culture. Through an exploration of 16 Heroes’ experiences over the course of one year, it was determined that the Heroes community serves as an informal Community of Practice which supports local community cohesion, intergenerational learning and positive community action. In this research, the roles and responsibilities of the members within the CoP, as well as the characteristics of the CoP, are discussed with the aim of presenting key factors that support sustaining Communities of Practice, that in turn support community wellbeing.  We identified six factors characterising the CoP, which contributed to its longevity: adherence to tradition, stress-busting, mentoring, belonging to something bigger, sharing and social connections.  

Author Biography

Janice Tulk, Cape Breton University

Janice Esther Tulk is a folklorist and ethnomusicologist based at Cape Breton University. She has published extensively on the topics of Mi’kmaw music and culture, Indigenous representation, and Aboriginal business, as well as the relationship between soundscapes, expressive culture, and identity. Her teaching assignments in material culture led her to engaging in this collaborative research project with the Unspun Heroes.




How to Cite

Snow, K., & Tulk, J. (2020). Unspun Heroes: An Example of Intergenerational Learning and Community Action. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 32(1). Retrieved from https://cjsae.library.dal.ca/cjsae/article/view/5495