Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 31, Issue 6, pp 603–612 | Cite as

Beyond Collaboration: Embodied Teacher Learning and the Discourse of Collaboration in Education Reform



In this paper I highlight the significance of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s contribution to the study of teacher learning. I particularly draw on his notion of embodiment to show that professional knowledge is embodied knowledge and that teachers make sense of their professional world through their embodied action. I contrast my interpretation with a professional learning model that has been influential in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and other countries. I suggest that policy makers interested in education reform initiatives would benefit from interrogating the nature of professional practices in education.


Embodiment Merleau-Ponty Professional learning communities School reform Teaching practices 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Policy Studies, Faculty of EducationUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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