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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Teacher Learning and Computer-mediated Communication: Developing the Professional Knowledge Base

Caroline Daly, Dr Norbert Pachler, Jon Pickering.

This paper focuses on the potential of computer-mediated communication (cmc) for the generation of teacher knowledge, and analyses its contribution to an alternative conception of professional learning. Claims for the impact of cmc on knowledge creation and dissemination are now well-established. What is much less explored is the impact of this on teachers' learning. Cmc has brought about changes in the ways in which knowledge can be created and disseminated and offers a potential for teachers to learn through collaborative processes, including participation in electronic discourse. Such participation may challenge orthodox understandings of how professional knowledge is constructed and mediated. This paper takes as its premise the fact that the professional development dimension of teachers' learning is undertheorised. In addition, for a decade and a half, in-service teacher 'education' in the UK has been channelled by central, regional and local government towards training and development reacting to serial policy initiatives rather than allowed to focus on teacher needs and learning. Only of late has there been a recognition of a need for a coherent pedagogy of continuing professional development on the one hand and a focus on teacher learning as a pre-requisite for leadership of pupil learning on the other. With reference to its conceptual underpinnings, the paper analytically discusses the Institute of Education, University of London, Master of Teaching's (MTcg), a mixed mode degree which uses cmc to engage teachers actively in what are often competing discourses and to help them develop their professional pedagogical knowledge base as educational leaders. Teachers' participation in cmc is examined in terms of its effects on pedagogical understanding and practice, and how such participation relates to notions of professional identity and informs an evolving professional knowledge base.


Caroline Daly  (United Kingdom)
Lecturer in Education
The School of Culture, Language and Communication
London University Institute of Education

Caroline Daly teaches on the Initial Teacher Education Programme at London University Institute of Education, and is a module leader for the Master of Teaching degree. Her role involves planning for teachers’ professional development through engagement with peer-discussion in an electronic forum. She is also interested in the impact of learning communities on teachers’ development, and the subject of her Ph.D. research is early professional learning via computer-mediated communication.

Dr Norbert Pachler  (United Kingdom)

The School of Culture, Language and Communication
London University, Institute of Education

Jon Pickering  (United Kingdom)

The School of Culture, Language and Communication
London University, Institute of Education

  • Teacher education
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Pedagogy
  • Knowledge construction

(30 min Conference Paper, English)