Professional learning: developing a community of practice

Lynn Kidman, Dawn Penney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This paper directs attention to coaches’ professional learning. It arises from a three-year project in Aotearoa New Zealand that has evaluated a professional development programme designed to enhance and accelerate high performance coaches’ learning; the Coach Accelerator Programme (CAP). Drawing on data from interviews with coaches, the programme manager and support staff, and participant observations, we report on the ways in which coaches’ learning has been facilitated and supported. The concept of Community of Practice provides the theoretical framework for discussion of the programme and #ndings. Findings relating to two sub-themes (i) the dominant culture of the community, characterised as a culture of learning and sharing; and (ii) the structure, opportunity and support for the culture and community; are presented. Achievements to date and significant challenges that need to be acknowledged in ongoing development of the CAP are addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-30
Number of pages25
JournalThe Journal of Athlete Centered Coaching
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • coaching
  • community of practice
  • professional learning
  • learning networks
  • culture

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