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Teacher participation in online communities of practice: a mixed-methods study of community, context and practice

Weatherby, KE; (2017) Teacher participation in online communities of practice: a mixed-methods study of community, context and practice. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The primary objective of this doctoral research is to understand the relationship between teachers’ participation in online communities of practice and the development of their teaching practice. The online community at the centre of this research is the Computing at School (CAS) community, created to support the computing curriculum in the United Kingdom. A mixed-methods methodology was employed that included a survey of CAS member teachers as well as semi-structured interviews with a subset of surveyed teachers. A content analysis of interactions between members on the CAS online community aided in development of maps of teacher context and in understanding whether CAS exhibits characteristics of a COP. Findings indicate that some teachers report significant changes to their teaching, classroom management, lesson planning or personal understanding of computing concepts as a result of their participation in the CAS community. CAS exhibits characteristics of a COP, according to Wenger’s (1998) framework, but not all CAS teachers use CAS in this manner. Other CAS members use CAS simply as a resource bank, from which to download activities for classroom use. Findings also reveal that a computing teacher’s background characteristics, notably his or her professional experience prior to teaching computing, play an important role in their attitudes toward and preparedness for teaching computing as well as influencing the professional development resources to which they have access.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Teacher participation in online communities of practice: a mixed-methods study of community, context and practice
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1566655
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