MOBILIZATION OF COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE IN THE THIRD SPACE: A QUALITATIVE CASE STUDY
Wallace, Michael Taylor
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Using a conceptual framework including communities of practice theory and third space theory, this study explored pre-service and in-service teacher learning through the mobilization of communities of practice from the perspective of pre-service teachers and in-service teachers throughout the initial stages of the pre-service teacher preparation process. Participants within this study included five pre-service teachers enrolled in a teacher preparation program at the university, five in-service teachers at an area high school, and the author—a clinical faculty member who inhabited both the university and the high school spaces. Data collected from these participants included interviews, documents, observations, and photovoice entries. Findings from this study indicated that participants engaged in third space creation through the mobilization of communities of practice. Themes included the development of joint enterprise between communities, mutual engagement which developed identity and positionality, enhanced community repertoire, and increased conceptualization of third space. Implications of findings called for increased third space opportunities within teacher preparation programs.