Interaction patterns of physical education teachers in a professional learning community

Tannehill, Deborah
İnce, Mustafa Levent
Background: In both general education and physical education literature, considerable attention is paid to identifying the effectiveness of communities of practice (CoPs). This literature tends to be more qualitative in nature with less research examining the quantitative nature of interactions in CoPs through direct observation. Purpose: This study examined the ways teachers interact within a newly-developed community (LC) /CoP to understand how conversations evolve; how teachers question, challenge, and/or encourage one another to grow professionally in a learning community. Theoretical Framework: Situated learning perspectives provide a powerful framework for examining teacher learning and facilitation of teacher development. Method: Bales's Interaction Process Analysis Tool (IPA) was selected for analyzing the socio-emotional and task-oriented communication between members of the LC/CoP. Six physical education teachers (four female, two male) and a facilitator, representing the university, participated in LC/CoP meetings designed in collaboration between teachers and the facilitator. The data source was audio-taped transcripts taken of teacher interactions during six weeks of LC/CoP meetings. Findings: Results revealed three main interactive patterns that emerged from analysis of participant interactions during the six LC/CoP meetings. These patterns were; 1) Variable member interactions; 2) Member roles; and 3) Personal interaction pattern development. By coding participant interactions as they occur allowed us to understand and analyze directly what and how LC/CoP members actually talked at the initial stages of community development. Conclusion: The contribution of this study is to use an interaction analysis tool to conceptualize the communicative actions that emerge through a LC/CoP and provide practical insight into the gap in the literature relative to how conversations evolve in a CoP; how teachers question, challenge, and/or encourage one another to grow professionally. Ultimately linking an interactive analysis tool with a well-structured qualitative research component to provide participant voice, feelings and behaviours would provide more robust rusults.


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Common content knowledge (CCK) is comprised of the knowledge of rules, techniques, and tactics and can be used to define the scope of what teachers teach in their lessons. Developing reliable and valid measures of teacher knowledge such as CCK strengthens our understanding of what teachers know and in turn the field's ability to help teachers in their practice. There are, however, few validated tests of CCK of sport for teachers. The primary purpose of this study was to provide content and concurrent validi...
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This study examined physical activity level, sport participation, and parental education level in 333 female and 359 male Turkish junior high school students. Student's physical activity level, sport participation, and parental education level were determined by a questionnaire with three sections. Independent samples t-test results revealed higher physical activity level and chi-square results indicated higher sport participation for boys when compared with girls. In addition significant negative correlati...
Citation Formats
D. HÜNÜK, D. Tannehill, and M. L. İnce, “Interaction patterns of physical education teachers in a professional learning community,” PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORT PEDAGOGY, pp. 301–317, 2019, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: