Pracademic Productive Friction: Boundary Crossing and pressure points

John Mynott* (Corresponding Author), Michaela Zimmatore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Productive friction (Ward et al., 2011) can exist as pracademics cross between boundaries of their different identities. Through an exploration of the self-perception of two collaborating pracademics, this paper will consider that organisational and occupational (Evetts, 2009) elements exist that generate professional friction for pracademics.

Using two consecutive Lesson Study cycles as a boundary object, the authors will consider their pracademic identity through a spatial approach. Their perceptions are expressed through semi-structured qualitative interviews and subsequent thematic analysis. This analysis is then explored through Engeström's (2001) learning stages to consider how pracademics interact within the contradictions of their identities and within their context and their work.

Time, purpose, integration and collaboration are all elements that impact on pracademic identities. For each one of these themes, pracademics both experience friction and find resolutions. As these themes vary, there are also moments of unresolved friction, where the pracademics maintain their work based on their enthusiasm alone. Constraints on time and the visibility of pracademic emerge. Exploring these pressure points and their resolutions is key to understanding how pracademics can be further supported by other professionals.

While it is not possible to draw large conclusions from the experiences and perceptions of two primary-school-based pracademics, their experiences and understanding of contextual pressure points may facilitate the support of other pracademics and resonant with their experiences, particularly if they are using Lesson Study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Professional Capital and Community
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2022


  • Professional learning
  • Collaboration
  • Lesson study
  • Professional identity
  • Pracademic


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