A Proposed Typology of Knowledge Sharing within Communities of Teachers: A Comparative Case Study Focusing on England and Macedonia

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Authors:
James Underwood, University of Northampton, UK
Majda Joshevska, Foundation for Education and Cultural Initiatives (Step by Step), Macedonia
Email: james.underwood@northampton.ac.uk
https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.7.1.07

Citation: Underwood, J., & Joshevska, M. (2019). A Proposed Typology of Knowledge Sharing within Communities of Teachers: A Comparative Case Study Focusing on England and Macedonia. IAFOR Journal of Education, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.7.1.07


Abstract

This article is a case study of the knowledge that is exchanged by teachers when they are engaged in professional communities that extend beyond the workplace, including internationally. The participants in this study were all teachers from England and Macedonia. The data collection method was via interview. This data was thematically coded and used to build towards the development of a typography of the different forms of knowledge that may be shared by teachers within such communities. In the first half of this article different ways of defining the professional knowledge of teachers, as presented in a range of research, are explored and critiqued. The second half then explores the different forms of knowledge that the participants in this study perceived themselves to have shared as members of communities of teachers that extend beyond the workplace. Via this study it was found that the participants consistently problematised the possibility of directly transferring specific pedagogic strategies. However, stories about teaching were seen by all to be useful vehicles for enabling affirmation and for co-constructing professional purpose. It is argued that both of these outcomes are forms of professional knowledge in their own right. These findings have potential implications for policy and practice as they indicate that it may be significant for those organisations that support such networking opportunities to value and understand the significance of those forms of professional knowledge that are less concrete than the exchanging of specific classroom strategies alone.

Keywords

professional communities, professional knowledge, extended professionalism, communities of practice, pedagogical knowledge, knowledge sharing, implicit knowledge