Author Information

Sheila O'Sullivan


There are numerous theories about human learning: behaviorism, cognitive, humanistic, and social theories (Learning Theories Site Map, 2013). One theory of learning involves a deepening process of participation in communities of practice, which involve a cluster of individuals who share a common interest of concern or passion and who learn from each other through the process of sharing experiences and information about how to improve such interest (Wenger-Trayner & Wenger-Trayner, 2015). This concept involves a discussion among group members about ways of doing and approaching things that are elaborated upon to a significant extent to facilitate learning and enhance performance (Smith, 2009). Frequent discourse and active and social engagement produce a shared construction of knowledge that continues over time (MacPhail, Patton, Parker, & Tannehill, 2014). The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of preservice teachers about time devoted to post-teaching discussion sessions through communities of practice.

Note on the Author

Sheila O’Sullivan is graduating in May 2017 with a major in Physical Education. Her research was completed in the fall of 2016 under the mentorship of Dr. Misti Neutzling (Movement Arts, Health Promotion, and Leisure Studies) and made possible with funding provided by Bridgewater State University’s Undergraduate Research Semester Grant. Sheila presented this research at the 29th Annual Ethnographic & Qualitative Research Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in January 2017.

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