Teachers as Drivers of Their Professional Learning Through Design Teams, Communities, and Networks
Engaging teachers in cooperative and collaborative processes through which they learn from each other is fundamental in rethinking professional development as being ‘done’ to teachers compared with teachers ‘doing’ or driving their professional learning. This rethinking is underpinned by opportunities that have arisen not only through social networks and the pervasiveness of online media but also from the shift in valuing the exploration of individual interests and needs as well as in the pedagogical reform process. The tenets of effective professional learning, namely, active engagement, teacher voice, creation and collaboration, inquiry and reflection, will be explored in this chapter through two modes of discourse. First, a reckoning of what counts as professional learning activities is proposed to establish the driving force or purpose for teacher learning. This is then developed further in the second part of this chapter where we discuss the various approaches to professional learning with a theoretical analysis of teacher collaboration, teacher teams, communities of practice, and broader social networks. Understanding the genesis, development, and purpose of professional engagement and interaction is key to supporting teachers as the ‘deliverers’ of educational reform who are those tasked with transforming education through ICT.
KeywordsProfessional learning Professional Development Social Networking Teacher Teams Communities of Practice
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