Physical Education Teachers’ Experiences of Nurturing a Community of Practice Online

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education

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Heidi J. FerreiraFederal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of South of Minas Gerais, Poços de Caldas, MG, Brazil

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Luiza GonçalvesFaculty of Education, Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, MS, Brazil
Faculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

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Melissa ParkerDepartment of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

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Purpose: Drawing on the concept of community of practice, the purpose of this study was to explore Brazilian physical education teachers’ experiences of nurturing a community of practice online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: This was an action research project, and the participants were 13 high school physical education teachers (one of them acted as teacher-facilitator), one critical friend, and one meta-critical friend. Data sources included teachers’ online meetings, critical friend conversations, interviews, and the facilitator’s reflexive journal. Results: Inductive analysis resulted in four themes: finding emotional and pedagogical support, building a teachers-only space, creating an online group dynamic, and negotiating to research their own practice. The findings are discussed in relation to the characteristics of community of practices and online continuing professional development. Conclusion: Key aspects for future online collaborative continuing professional development are highlighted: (a) teachers-only; (b) by teachers, for teachers; and (c) combination of tools.

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