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Envisioning Scholar-Practitioner Collaborations: Communities of Practice in Education and Sport

reviewed by Billy Hawkins - June 06, 2019

coverTitle: Envisioning Scholar-Practitioner Collaborations: Communities of Practice in Education and Sport
Author(s): Derek Van Rheenen & Jean Marie DeOrnellas (Eds.)
Publisher: Information Age Publishing, Charlotte
ISBN: 1641130571, Pages: 208, Year: 2018
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Authors Derek Van Rheenan and Jean Marie DeOrnellas begin their text by providing an historical overview of the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Research Focus on Education and Sport Special Interest Group (RFES SIG). This brief historical overview describes the RFES SIG’s struggle for acceptance and legitimacy within one of this nation’s oldest educational associations, the AERA, and its mission to develop a community of scholars and practitioners engaged in research on the intersection of education and sport.

The volume is comprised of a collection of case studies that came out of the RFES SIG on the intersection of education and sport. The theoretical underpinning of this text rests on the concept of a community of practice in which informal groups develop based on common interests. In the case of this volume, a shared research interest in education and sport provides the commonality around which a community has been formed that produces knowledge and establishes best practices. This framework is sufficient given the scope and focus of this work.

With this volume, the editors hope to bridge the gap between scholars and practitioners in the contexts of sport and education. They illustrate how this collaboration has historically been devalued at research-intensive institutions and that the chasm between researchers and practitioners warrants inquiry. This text presents examples of scholar-practitioner collaborations that occur outside of higher education institutions with community partners as well as collaborations within institutions of higher education.

Overall, the volume is informative and emphasizes the need for scholar-practitioner collaboration, especially in the context of education and sport. Although the volume does not provide any new revelations or theoretical developments in the scholar-practitioner relationship, it does highlight several programmatic developments and best practices for scholars and practitioners seeking to employ strategies to further develop education and sport into emancipatory and empowering structures. This part of the volume addresses programmatic developments and collaborations between community partners, scholars, not-for-profit organizations, and other non-governmental sporting agencies. The second part focuses on programmatic efforts and collaborations between athletic departments and scholars.

As noted by the authors, this volume does not critique the institutional barriers and oppressive structures inherent in both sport and education, but seeks to highlight efforts by scholars and practitioners seeking to create emancipatory experiences for athletes in these spaces. This is a fundamental limitation as the success of the programs discussed as well as the collaborative efforts of scholars and practitioners explored in this volume are bound by the broader sociopolitical and higher educational systems that also define sporting experiences.

However, the collaborations between scholars and practitioners noted in this volume are nonetheless commendable and are necessary for improving the experiences of athletes and promoting best practices for educators, sport administrators, and policymakers. In elucidating these programmatic developments and the potential that exists for collaboration between scholars and practitioners, Envisioning Scholar-Practitioner Collaborations: Communities of Practice in Education and Sport makes an important contribution.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: June 06, 2019
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22885, Date Accessed: 12/8/2021 10:24:47 PM

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About the Author
  • Billy Hawkins
    University of Houston
    E-mail Author
    BILLY HAWKINS is a professor at the University of Houston in the department of Health and Human Performance. He is also the Associate Dean for Faculty and Student Success in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. He is the author of several books including: The New Plantation: Black Athletes, College Sports, and Predominantly White NCAA Institutions; and co-author of Sport, Race, Activism, and Social Change: The Impact of Dr. Harry Edwards’ Scholarship and Service, The Athletic Experience at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Past, Present, and Persistence, and Critical Race Theory: Black Athletic Sporting Experiences in the United States. His teaching and research contributions are in the areas of sociology of sport and cultural studies, sport management, and sport for development. He has published in several peer-reviewed journals as well as presented to learned societies in the area of sport studies (including sport management, sport history, and sport sociology). He is a North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) Research Fellow. He received his PhD from the University of Iowa in Health and Sport Studies; a Master of Science Degree in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Webber International University.
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