Enhancing pedagogical innovation in a Portuguese vocational school: insights from a community of practice

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The school mission addresses a social purpose: providing each student with quality and meaningful learning experiences that prepare them for a limitless future. In the Decree-Law nº55/2018 establishes changes in the curriculum and, consequently, expects that teachers play a more active role in its development. Teacher collaboration in the workplace is a key dimension to fostering school innovation (Kelchtermans, Smith & Vanderlinde, 2018), despite being a missing practice (Ben-Peretz & Flores, 2018). This study is part of an ongoing project carried out by SAME (Support Service for the Improvement of Education) from the Faculty of Education and Psychology of Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto, Portugal), in which is expected to enhance pedagogical innovation in a Portuguese vocation school, by re-thinking the planning of the curricula.
The methodological approach of this project is based on action research, in which a team of researchers from SAME is closely working and collaborating with a group of teachers in the development of a solution based on the diagnosis of a problem identified (Bryman, 2012). The expected outcome of the project is to co-create a set of guidelines to support teachers in improving their practices. With this in mind, three phases were considered: 1) diagnosis of the problem based on a focus group carried out with leaders and teachers (September 2021); 2) development of solutions by creating a community of practice (December to June 2022); 3) delivering the final result (July 2022). This work aims to present and describe the insights of the teachers (n=13) engaged in this community of practice, regarding the co-creation process of developing solutions to enhancing pedagogical innovation in their schools. The data include the observation of the meetings by one researcher from SAME carried out since December 2021, and a questionnaire to be sent to this group of teachers, in the final of the second phase of the project. The expected outcomes will include the analyses of two dimensions, namely: 1) nature and content of the final solution (guidelines to improve teaching practice); 2) the community of practice value (level of collaboration and interaction, sense of belonging, focus on value, and sustainability). Implications for teachers’ professional development will be discussed and considered.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventInternational Conference on Education and Training - Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 12 Jul 202215 Jul 2022


ConferenceInternational Conference on Education and Training


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