Communities of Practice and Negotiation of Meaning Among Pre-service Teachers



Since more and more schools of teacher education all over the world are adding on-line asynchronous discussions to their pre-teaching education requirements, education practitioners need research to gauge their potential contribution to the development of future teachers’ identity and, in particular, to the development of their shared repertoire. Ryan and Scott (Teach Teach Educ 24(6):1635–1644, 2008) already pointed out that these discussions offer opportunities for student teachers to link theory and practice, to identify discrepancies between the two, to set up problems, to uncover implicit assumptions in teaching and learning, etc. Nevertheless, we still felt the need for an assessment of these asynchronous discussions, given that they may easily become mere monologues where students uncritically repeat theories they have heard in their classes or just describe what they have seen in schools. In this chapter we analyse the discourse generated in order to ascertain the degree of interactivity and identify instances of negotiation of meaning. We propose that this particular type of interaction helps to develop a shared repertoire, one of the three characteristics of a community of practice.


Pre-school and primary school teachers Teaching identity Computer-mediated communication Shared repertoire Teacher education 



The authors are members of the Elkarrikertuz Research Group (IT 563 13) and REUNI+D, The University Network for Educational Research and Innovation ( This chapter is part of the research project entitled “Building the identity of pre-school and primary education teachers during initial training and the first years of work” (EDU2010-20852-C02-02, 2010–2013), funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain. We thank Wendy Baldwin for her editing help and particularly for making sure that the English translations of the student teachers’ words maintained the same register and tone.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Studies Abroad ConsortiumDonostia-San SebastianSpain
  2. 2.Universidad Del País Vasco-Euskal Herriko UnibertsitateaDonostia-San SebastianSpain

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