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Defining and exploring pracademia: identity, community, and engagement

Trista Hollweck (Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)
Deborah M. Netolicky (School of Education, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia)
Paul Campbell (School of Education, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)

Journal of Professional Capital and Community

ISSN: 2056-9548

Article publication date: 29 September 2021

Issue publication date: 19 January 2022




The aim of this paper is to define pracademia and conceptualise it in relation to educational contexts. This paper contributes to and stimulates a continuing and evolving conversation around pracademia and its relevance, role and possibilities.


This paper is a conceptual exploration. It draws upon existing and emerging pieces of literature, the use of metaphor as a meaning-making tool, and the positionalities of the authors, to develop the concept of pracademia.


The authors posit that pracademics who simultaneously straddle the worlds of practice, policy, and academia embody new possibilities as boundary spanners in the field of education for knowledge mobilization, networks, community membership, and responding to systemic challenges. However, being a pracademic requires the constant reconciling of the demands of multi-membership and ultimately, pracademics must establish sufficient legitimacy to be respected in two or more currently distinct worlds.

Practical implications

This paper has implications for knowledge mobilization, networks, boundary spanners, leadership, professional learning, and connecting practice, policy, and research. While the authors are in the field of education, this exploration of pracademia is relevant not only to the field of education but also to other fields in which there is a clear need to connect practice/policy with scholarship.


This paper provides a new definition of pracademia and argues that pracademia identifies an important yet relatively unknown space with many possibilities in the field of education.



The authors would like to acknowledge attendees and fellow pracademics attending the pracademia symposia (2019, 2020, 2021) held at the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) for their encouragement and insight.


Hollweck, T., Netolicky, D.M. and Campbell, P. (2022), "Defining and exploring pracademia: identity, community, and engagement", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 6-25.



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