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Lisa Murtagh Elizabeth Birchinall

Abstract

The study underpinning this paper developed from a review of current practice with regard to partnership in a Postgraduate Initial Teacher Education Programme in England. Typical partnership activity between the university and partnership schools centred round the needs of the trainee teacher, however the aim of the study was to re-envisage this through the development of a collaborative partnership model focused on developing school-university research-based practice. Teacher professional knowledge was married with the expertise of university staff to facilitate systematic school-based enquiry. This paper reports on a qualitative study involving four university participants and seven participants from primary schools who were involved in the school-based enquiry project. Analysed through the lens of the concept of a “Community of Practice” (CoP), the findings illustrate the practice, relationship and role changes that occurred. In the discussion, the main factors that contributed to the development of this particular CoP are considered: both their strengths and limitations.

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