Constructive dialogue in ICT professional development for the transformation of teachers' pedagogical beliefs and practices

Year: 2007

Author: Prestridge, Sarah

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper explores the transformative capacity of engaging teachers in constructive dialogue within ICT professional development activity. The paper reports on one aspect of an Australian Research Council linkage project that is concerned with models of teacher Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) professional development that result in multiliterate teaching practices. The Industry partners for the project are the Suncoast Cyberschools, a coalition of schools for whom being a 'networked learning community' is fundamental to their purpose. The relationship between Multiliteracies and ICT provides a contentious context around which teachers had the opportunity to engage with through an asynchronised threaded discussion forum. Data reported in this paper are generated from the archived posts to the threaded discussion forum and are analysed qualitatively for evidence of community and quantitatively for different forums of feedback and levels of discussion . The findings suggest evidence of both collegial and critical discussion. Collegial discussion was found to be important in developing and maintaining community while critical discussion was vital for its role in transforming teacher's beliefs. The data also reveals a number of practical aspects of online environments that inhibit constructive discussion.