Stimulating professional development through CMC — A case study of networked learning and initial teacher education

  • Maria Zenios
  • Frank Banks
  • Bob Moon
Part of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Series book series (CULS, volume 4)


This chapter explores the use of networked learning, and especially asynchronous text-based computer conferencing, in stimulating teacher professional development. The study is located within the broader context of sociocultural theory and in particular the work of Lave and Wenger (1991), which locates learning in forms of co-participation. The results of the study indicate that the form of networked learning within educational contexts is crucially influenced by three key factors. (a) The way in which computer conferencing is organized within the context of a formal course influences the form of professional discourse within the conferences. (b) The contrasting character of subject domains can be related to differences in the form and the style of discourse within the conferences. (c) The length of engagement of participants in computer conferencing influences their transition from novices to more experienced participants in networked learning processes. Within successful conferences, teachers’ professional development can be stimulated in new ways, in particular through promoting reflection and enhancing learner autonomy. It is suggested that the role of the moderator is crucial in stimulating effective conferences through the structuring of the learning resources inherent in the conferences. In sum, this study develops a grounded understanding of teacher professional development as a socially situated process enabled through networked learning.


CMC moderation networked learning teacher education teacher professional development 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bain, J.D., Ballantyne, R., Packer, J. & Mills, C. (1999). Using journal writing to enhance student teachers’ reflectivity during field experience placements. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice 5(1): 51–73.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, S. & McIntyre, D. (1993). Making Sense of Teaching. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Calderhead, J. & Shorrock, S.B. (1997). In Understanding Teacher Education, pp. 8–19. London: Palmer Press.Google Scholar
  4. Castells, M. (1999). The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Vol. III: End of Millennium. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  5. Commission of the European Communities (2000). Communication from the Commission: E-learning — designing tomorrow’s education. COM (2000) 318 final, Brussels, 24.5.2000.Google Scholar
  6. Craft, A. (1996). Continuing Professional Development: A practical guide for teachers and schools. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. E-Quality Network (2002, March). E-quality in e-learning Manifesto. Paper presented at the Networked Learning 2002 conference, Sheffield. Available at
  8. Grossman, P. (1993). English as context: English in context. CRC Context an Context Series: S93–2, Stanford University.Google Scholar
  9. Hall, D. (1997). Computer mediated communication in post-compulsory teacher education. Open Learning November 1997: 54–57.Google Scholar
  10. Kremer-Hayon, L. (1998). Teaching and teacher education: A glimpse into the future. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research 42(4): 377–388.Google Scholar
  11. Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Leach, J. (1997). Changing discourse, transforming pedagogy: Developing an on-line community for teacher education. Paper presented at the Third Conference of the European Educational Research Association, 24th–27th September 1997, Frankfurt.Google Scholar
  13. Lewis T., Gould, M. & Ryan, M. (1997). Computer conferencing and the continuing professional development of teachers in the post-16 sector. In J. Field, ed., Electronic Pathways: Adult Learning and the New Communication Technologies. Leicester: NIACE.Google Scholar
  14. Moon, R.E. (1997). Open Learning and new technologies in teacher education: New paradigms for development. European Journal of Teacher Education 20(1): 7–31.Google Scholar
  15. Negroponte, N. (1995). Being Digital. London: Hodder and Stoughton.Google Scholar
  16. Nua Internet Surveys (2002, November). Available at
  17. Pearson, J. & Selinger, M. (1999). Linking different types of knowledge in professional education and training: The potential of electronic communication. In M. Selinger & J. Pearson, eds, Telematics in Education: Trends and Issues. Amsterdam: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  18. Schön, D.A. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  19. Schön, D.A. (1987). Educating the Reflective Practitioner. London: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  20. Schrum, L. (1992). Professional development in the Information Age: An online experience. Educational Technology (32)12: 49–53.Google Scholar
  21. Singletary, T. & Anderson, H. (1995). Computer-mediated teacher instruction. In Z.L. Berge & M.P. Collins, eds, Computer-Mediated Communication and the On-Line Classroom, Vol. 1: Overview and Perspectives. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.Google Scholar
  22. Stodolsky, S.S. (1993). A framework for subject matter comparisons in high schools. Teaching and Teacher Education (9)4: 333–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tickle, L. (1994). The Induction of New Teachers: Reflective Professional Practice. London: Cassell.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Zenios
  • Frank Banks
  • Bob Moon

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations