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Changing the Metaphor: The Potential of Online Communities in Teacher Professional Development

Changing the Metaphor: The Potential of Online Communities in Teacher Professional Development
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Author(s): Margaret Lloyd (Queensland University of Technology, Australia) and Jennifer Duncan-Howell (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 17
Source title: Online Learning Communities and Teacher Professional Development: Methods for Improved Education Delivery
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): J. Ola Lindberg (Mid Sweden University, Sweden) and Anders D. Olofsson (Umea University, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-780-5.ch004

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Abstract

Belonging to an online community offers teachers the opportunity to exchange ideas, make connections with a wider peer group and form collaborative networks. The increasing popularity of teacher professional communities means that we need to understand how they work and determine the role they may play in teacher professional development. This chapter will map data from a doctoral study to a recentlydeveloped model of professional development to offer a new perspective of how online communities can add to a teacher’s personal and professional growth and, in so doing, add to the small number of studies in this field. This chapter will conclude with a call for a revision of the way we approach professional development in the 21st Century and suggest that old models and metaphors are hindering the adoption of more effective means of professional development for teachers.

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