University of Limerick
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The facilitator’s role in supporting physical education teachers’ empowerment in a professional learning community

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-12-07, 14:44 authored by Luiza Lana Gonçalves, Melissa ParkerMelissa Parker, Carla Luguetti, Michele Viviene Carbinatto
Physical education (PE) researchers demonstrate the benefits of collaborative continuing professional development (CPD) through the cultivation of professional learning communities (PLCs). Furthermore, this body of research reflects teachers’ empowerment as a current concern in the literature about PLCs. Although the importance of teachers’ empowerment in PLCs is recognised, there is much to learn about the facilitator's actions to create spaces for empowerment. The purpose of this paper is to explore the facilitator's actions in supporting PE teachers’ empowerment in a PLC. Action research framed this project in Brazil. Participants included six PE teachers, a facilitator, and a critical friend. Data sources included daily observations and reflections from weekly meetings with the teachers and the critical friend. Data were analysed using inductive and thematic methods. By engaging a Freirean view as a theoretical framework, it was understood that the teachers needed to empower themselves to survive in their reality, learn in order to be recognised at school, and act to change their micro-context. Accordingly, three themes represented the facilitator's actions to support teachers’ empowerment: (a) creating a horizontal relationship with teachers through dialogue; (b) understanding and respecting teachers’ learning and (c) struggling with teachers in their reality as an act of solidarity. These facilitator actions contributed primarily to building a democratic space where the teachers could name, critique and negotiate the barriers they faced. Although creating spaces for teachers’ empowerment provided the opportunity for improving teachers’ PE knowledge, these spaces fundamentally supported teachers in seeking better professional conditions, organising themselves as a community and pursuing social change.



Sport, Education and Society; 27 (3), pp. 272-285


Taylor and Francis


peer-reviewed The full text of this article will not be available in ULIR until the embargo expires on the 27/03/2022


This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Sport, Education and Society 2020 copyright Taylor & Francis



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