Does teachers' negotiation of personal cases in an interactive cyber forum contribute to their professional learning?

Apr. 17, 2007

Source: Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, Volume 13, Issue 2, April 2007, pages 125 - 143

In this article, we explore an interactive learning process in a digital forum that focused on personal cases drawn from student teachers' classroom experience. To this end, we combined theoretical and methodological frameworks of knowledge-based and discourse-analytic perspectives that enabled us to uncover evidence showing what the students may have learnt and how this process of learning unfolded.

Following Shulman's categories of knowledge, a priori content analysis highlighted the contents of the learning process. In addition, the four-world analysis focused on the interactional dimensions of the forum. The first analysis revealed lack of references to theory and intensive investment in the interpersonal domain (context knowledge category). The second analysis foregrounded the discursive construction of two collectives of student teachers: the experienced and the inexperienced whose verbal behavior echoed the tense co-existence of new teachers and old timers. The implications of these findings for teacher education programs are presented at the end of the article.

Updated: Mar. 04, 2008