This chapter addresses the increasingly well-documented problem of teacher stress and attrition, focusing upon the need for critical conversations about this problem. Our response to this problem centres on online networks of teachers, which have the potential both to (a) counteract the stress experienced by pre-service and early career teachers and to (b) minimise the attrition of early career teachers. The case in favour of online learning networks of teachers focuses on three features of productive learning networks. The first is criticality, which includes critical thinking and combines it with communicative action as part of critical dialogue. Teachers in online learning networks engage in particular kinds of critical dialogue, and in doing so they display professional identities and exercise professional agency. One of the results of this critical dialogue is the development of shared understanding and a form of social cohesion, which manifest as the other two elements, communality and collegiality. Working in combination, these elements can drive innovative learning opportunities for neophyte teachers, while acknowledging the ongoing deprofessionalisation and politicisation of teachers’ work and identities that render a reimagined and reinvigorated criticality ever more timely and urgent.
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The authors are grateful to the editors of this volume for being such exemplary facilitators of scholarly writing, and to the two anonymous reviewers of an earlier version of this chapter for enhancing its clarity and coherence.
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Kelly, N., Clarà, M., Kehrwald, B.A., Danaher, P.A. (2020). Critical Online Learning Networks of Teachers: Communality and Collegiality as Contingent Elements. In: Simpson, A., Dervin, F. (eds) The Meaning of Criticality in Education Research. Palgrave Studies in Education Research Methods. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-56009-6_5
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Online ISBN: 978-3-030-56009-6