Using Blogs to Foster Inquiry, Collaboration, and Feedback in Pre-Service Teacher Education

Using Blogs to Foster Inquiry, Collaboration, and Feedback in Pre-Service Teacher Education

Carol R. Rinke (Gettysburg College, USA), Divonna M. Stebick (Gettysburg College, USA), Lauren Schaefer (Carroll County Public Schools, USA) and M. Evan Gaffney (Gettysburg College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-654-9.ch020
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Abstract

This chapter presents a critical case study on the use of information technology in a pre-service teacher education program. The authors integrated Weblogs (blogs) into two constructivist-oriented teacher preparation courses with the goal of helping students learn to think like a teacher through enhanced inquiry, collaboration, and feedback. The authors found that, through the use of blogs, pre-service teaching candidates grew in their abilities to reflect on their own teaching and to provide constructive comments to peers. The authors’ experience also indicated that while instructor and peer feedback via blogs was valuable, it functioned best when paired with face-to-face meetings between the instructors and students. They discussed design principles for combining online and face-to-face environments and offer possibilities for the expanded use of blogs in pre-service teacher education.
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Theoretical Framework

As teacher educators, we support a foundation of constructivist principles in our practice. Our classes, advanced undergraduate courses for pre-service secondary teachers, work toward the ultimate goal of teaching how to think like a teacher (Crowe & Berry, 2007). We believe that beginning teachers should have not only the knowledge and skills necessary for teaching, but also the ability to think critically about instances of classroom practice from a variety of perspectives. Five key principles for thinking like a teacher include:

  • Principle One: Thinking like a teacher involves learning to see teaching from the viewpoint of the learner. Experiencing the role of learner is an important means of developing an understanding of the learner’s viewpoint

  • Principle Two: Prospective teachers need opportunities to “see into” the thinking like a teacher of experienced others

  • Principle Three: Prospective teachers need opportunities to try out thinking like a teacher in order to develop their thinking as a teacher

  • Principle Four: Prospective teachers need scaffolding (guidelines, questions, structures) to support them in the process as they begin thinking like a teacher

  • Principle Five: Developing responsive relationships is at the heart of learning to think like a teacher and at the heart of supporting our students (Crowe & Berry, 2007, p. 33)

We believe that these principles create a core set of abilities necessary for pre-service teachers to reflect and think deeply about their practice and learn from experience. Exposure to these higher-level abilities during the undergraduate years can prepare future teachers to continue learning from their practice and interacting with communities of learners throughout their professional lives.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Michael Sherman
Acknowledgment
Carla R. Payne
Chapter 1
Maria Luisa Pérez Cavana
Taking into account the complexity and multiplicity of constructivist theories, the first part of this chapter focuses on the relationship between... Sample PDF
Closing the Circle: From Dewey to Web 2.0
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Chapter 2
Noel Fitzpatrick, Nóirín Hayes, K.C. O’Rourke
Constructivism has become the comfortable face of educational theory in recent years, due in no small part to the mainstreaming of learning... Sample PDF
Beyond Constriction and Control: Constructivism in Online Theory and Practice
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Chapter 3
Barbara de la Harpe, Fiona Peterson
There is a strong move worldwide for a constructivist theory to underpin the way teaching and learning are viewed in today’s colleges and... Sample PDF
The Theory and Practice of Teaching with Technology in Today's Colleges and Universities
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Chapter 4
Karen Swan, D.R. Garrison, Jennifer C. Richardson
This chapter presents a theoretical model of online learning, the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, which is grounded in John Dewey’s... Sample PDF
A Constructivist Approach to Online Learning: The Community of Inquiry Framework
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Chapter 5
Jennifer Lee, Lin Lin
Based on constructivist principles, this chapter provides a new instructional design map for online learning environments. This instructional design... Sample PDF
Applying Constructivism to Online Learning: A New Instructional Design Map
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Chapter 6
Beth Rubin
Constructivist education usually involves authentic assessment, which is affected by the media used to teach. Information technology can enhance or... Sample PDF
Enhancing Authentic Assessment Through Information Technology
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Chapter 7
Xenia Coulter, Alan Mandell
The adult college student, caught between the competing demands of work and home, has recently become a valuable commodity in today’s fast-changing... Sample PDF
Nontraditional Students and Information Technology: The Siren Call of the Virtual Classroom and its Impact on Progressive Educational Ideals
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Chapter 8
Jakko van der Pol
This chapter aims to perform a thorough analysis of students’ online learning conversations. Although offering a high potential for collaborative... Sample PDF
Online Learning Conversations: Potential, Challenges and Facilitation
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Chapter 9
Laura M. Nicosia
Contemporary educators have been reassessing pedagogical frameworks and reevaluating accepted epistemologies and ontologies of learning. The age-old... Sample PDF
Virtual Constructivism: Avatars in Action
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Chapter 10
G. Andrew Page, Radwan Ali
The key idea that sets constructivism apart from other theories of cognition was launched about 60 years ago by Jean Piaget. It was the idea that... Sample PDF
The Power and Promise of Web 2.0 Tools
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Chapter 11
Shalin Hai-Jew
This chapter examines some ways information technologies (IT) are deployed in higher education courses to help learners create robust mental models.... Sample PDF
IT-Enabled Strategies for Mental Modeling in E-Learning
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Chapter 12
Roisin Donnelly
This chapter critically explores the design and implementation of a blended problem-based learning (PBL) module for academic professional... Sample PDF
Transformative Potential of Constructivist Blended Problem-Based Learning in Higher Education
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Chapter 13
James G.R. Cronin, John Paul McMahon, Michael Waldron
Reception and use of information technology by lifelong learners within a “blended” learning environment needs to be articulated within a... Sample PDF
Critical Survey of Information Technology Use in Higher Education: Blended Classrooms
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Chapter 14
M. Beatrice Ligorio, Nadia Sansone
In this chapter, the case of a blended university course will be described in detail. The main focus of this description will be on how some... Sample PDF
Structure of a Blended University Course: Applying Constructivist Principles to Blended Teaching
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Chapter 15
Hwee Ling Lim, Fay Sudweeks
As educators utilize an increasingly wide range of technologies for facilitating interaction between distant learning parties, there are concerns... Sample PDF
Constructivism and Online Collaborative Group Learning in Higher Education: A Case Study
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Chapter 16
Linda Lohr, Nicholas Eastham, David Kendrick
This case study describes how a constructivist theory of learning guided the design of distributed learning environment for a three credit hour... Sample PDF
Constructivist Strategies to Optimize Four Levels of Interaction in a Distributed Learning Environment: A Case Study
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Chapter 17
Alessio Gaspar, Sarah Langevin, Naomi Boyer
This chapter discusses a case study of the application of technology to facilitate undergraduate students’ learning of computer programming in an... Sample PDF
Facilitating Students-Driven Learning of Computer Programming with Technology
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Chapter 18
John Miller
A central component of constructivist pedagogy at the college level is the modeling and practicing of critical thinking, and since Socrates... Sample PDF
Designing Asynchronous Discussions to Teach Critical Thinking
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Chapter 19
Mark H. Schulman
The challenges for Goddard College posed by 21st Century information technologies are their incorporation into, and reflection of, the foundational... Sample PDF
"To Be in Occasional Touch": Goddard College's Progressive Principles and Distributed Learning
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Chapter 20
Carol R. Rinke, Divonna M. Stebick, Lauren Schaefer, M. Evan Gaffney
This chapter presents a critical case study on the use of information technology in a pre-service teacher education program. The authors integrated... Sample PDF
Using Blogs to Foster Inquiry, Collaboration, and Feedback in Pre-Service Teacher Education
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Chapter 21
Michal Zellermayer, Nili Mor, Ida Heilweil
This chapter describes the learning environment that the authors created for veteran teachers, graduate students in Teaching and Learning who are... Sample PDF
The Intersection of Theory, Tools and Tasks in a Postgraduate Learning Environment
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About the Contributors