Building learning communities to support beginning teachers use of technology

Year: 2002

Author: Goos, Merrilyn, Bennison, Anne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on the early stages of a three year study that is investigating the impact of a technology-enriched teacher education program on beginning teachers' integration of computers, graphics calculators, and the internet into secondary school mathematics classrooms. Whereas much of the existing research on the role of technology in mathematics learning has been concerned with effects on curriculum content or student learning, less attention has been given to the relationship between technology use and issues of pedagogy, in particular the impact on teachers' professional learning in the context of specific classroom and school environments. Our research applies sociocultural theories of learning to consider how beginning teachers are initiated into a collaborative professional community featuring both web-based and face to face interaction, and how participation in such a community shapes their pedagogical beliefs and practices. The aim of this paper is to analyse processes through which the emerging community was established and sustained during the first year of the study. We examine features of this community in terms of identity formation, shifts in values and beliefs, and interaction patterns revealed in bulletin board discussion between students and lecturers.