I know. You read the title and you can’t help wondering what do Money Heist – aka La Casa de Papel – and communities of learning have in common. The answer is pretty simple and straightforward: the Spanish tv-series is actually a perfect example of a community of learning and its dynamic. Let us see why and how.

A Community Of Practice (COP) is a learning community, which revolves around practices. As such, learning is a material act that come from practice. Hence, experience. Although the gang in the series spends around five months in planning (read learning about) the robbery, the learning process is boosted by what happens that was not planned and how the gang reacts to it.

Identity is crucial in communities. Even in communities of learning. To learn something one has to see herself as a member of a given group, possibly sharing some objective(s). In the series, the professor knows this. As a matter of fact, he spends the five months of training trying to create a group. What is more, it tries to bond with citizens knowing that their supports will be the real strength of the gang.

Communities are shapeless. Their boundaries are constantly changing. Members go out and new members come in. The result of this is that old ideas (lessons) get withdrawn and new ones get in. This is not always a smooth process and should be taken into account as a potential threat to the community. In the series, this happens all the time with hostages becoming partners of the gang and members of the gang becoming outcasts.

Money Heist and Communities of Practice