Online Communities and Professional Teacher Learning: Affordances and Challenges
Norbert Pachler (Institute of Education, University of London, UK) and Caroline Daly (Institute of Education, University of London, UK)
Copyright: © 2006
This chapter examines online communities for professional teacher learning, in the context of a mixed-mode practice-based Masters degree, the Master of Teaching. It problematises key principles for designing collaborative learning online, aimed at developing teachers’ dispositions and values, as well as critical understandings that inform professional knowledge about practice. Data from teachers’ asynchronous online discussions are analysed, and the discussion is grounded in the learning activities of course participants. The authors establish the contemporary context for developing teachers’ professional learning through the affordances of new technologies, with a view to establishing what claims can be made about the potential of online communities to provide a counter to reductive models of professional development that have dominated teachers’ learning in England and Wales in recent years.