Professional Learning Communities in a Web 2.0 World: Rethinking the Conditions for Professional Development

  • Yvonne Liljekvist
  • Jorryt van Bommel
  • Christina Olin-Scheller
Chapter

Abstract

The new technologies, in particular social media in Web 2.0, enable rapid change in people’s behaviour, which needs to be considered in research on teacher empowerment and teacher professional development and growth. In this chapter we discuss how teachers in an informal, yet structured, way use social media to expand their professional learning communities beyond the local school context in Sweden. This is an example of how a new behaviour is emerging among teachers that changes the opportunities and the frames for professional development and growth. Through teachers’ engagement in social media, such as Facebook, extended professional learning communities arise and teachers’ professional development and growth become evident. Global levels influence local levels: teachers from different schools engage in structured discussions related to everyday practice, such as issues of learning goals in pre-school or topics related to a specific course in upper secondary school. The teachers’ arena for professional development and growth has changed, which means that the context of teacher empowerment is rapidly changing too. Consequently, the chapter includes theoretical reflections on professional learning communities in a Web 2.0 world and how this phenomenon may affect our approach to enhancing teachers’ professional development.

References

  1. Avalos, B. (2011). Teacher professional development in teaching and teacher education over ten years. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(1), 10–20. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2010.08.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bissessar, C. S. (2014). Facebook as an informal teacher professional development tool. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(2), 121–135. doi:10.14221/ajte.2014v39n2.9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borba, M. C., & Gadanidis, G. (2008). Virtual communities and networks of practicing mathematics teachers: The role of technology in collaboration. In K. Krainer & T. Wood (Eds.), The international handbook of mathematics teacher education: Participants in mathematics teacher education (Vol. 3, pp. 181–209). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain. Educational Researcher, 33(8), 3–15. doi:10.3102/0013189X033008003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buysse, V., Sparkman, K. L., & Wesley, P. W. (2003). Communities of practice: Connecting what we know with what we do. Exceptional Children, 69(3), 263–277. doi:10.1177/001440290306900301 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dalgarno, N., & Colgan, L. (2007). Supporting novice elementary mathematics teachers’ induction in professional communities and providing innovative forms of pedagogical content knowledge development through information and communication technology. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23(7), 1051–1065. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2006.04.037 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ellison, N. B., & Boyd, D. (2013). Sociality through social network sites. In W. H. Dutton (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of Internet studies (pp. 151–172). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Findahl, O., & Davidsson, P. (2015). Svenskarna och internet. The Swedes and the Internet. https://www.iis.se/docs/Svenskarna_och_internet_2015.pdf
  9. Goodyear, V. A., Casey, A., & Kirk, D. (2014). Tweet me, message me, like me: Using social media to facilitate pedagogical change within an emerging community of practice. Sport, Education and Society, 19(7), 927–943. doi:10.1080/13573322.2013.858624 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hew, K. F., & Hara, N. (2007). Knowledge sharing in online environments: A qualitative case study. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58(14), 2310–2324. doi:10.1002/asi.20698 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Horn, I. S., & Little, J. W. (2010). Attending to problems of practice: Routines and resources for professional learning in teachers’ workplace interactions. American Educational Research Journal, 47(1), 181–217. doi:10.3102/0002831209345158 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Karpf, D. (2012). Social science research methods in Internet time. Information, Communication & Society, 15(5), 639–661. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2012.665468 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kling, R., & Courtright, C. (2003). Group behavior and learning in electronic forums: A sociotechnical approach. The Information Society, 19(3), 221–235. doi:10.1080/01972240309465 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Leder, G. C. (2008). Pathways in mathematics: Individual teacher and beyond. In K. Krainer & T. Wood (Eds.), The international handbook of mathematics teacher education: Participants in mathematics teacher education (Vol. 3, pp. 309–330). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publisher.Google Scholar
  15. Liljekvist, Y. (2016). Mathematics teachers’ knowledge-sharing on the Internet: Pedagogical message in instruction materials. Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education, 21(3), 3–27.Google Scholar
  16. Manca, S., & Ranieri, M. (2014). Teachers’ professional development in online social networking sites. In J. Viteli & M. Leikomaa (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2014 (pp. 2229–2234). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).Google Scholar
  17. Roberts, L. D. (2015). Ethical issues in conducting qualitative research in online communities. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 12(3), 314–325. doi:10.1080/14780887.2015.1008909 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rutherford, C. (2010). Facebook as a source of informal teacher professional development. Education, 16(1), 60–74. doi:10.14221/ajte.2014v39n2.9 Google Scholar
  19. Ruthven, K. (2016). The re-sourcing movement in mathematics teaching: Some European initiatives. In M. Bates & Z. Usiskin (Eds.), Digital curricula in school mathematics (pp. 75–86). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  20. Stoll, L., Bolam, R., McMahon, A., Wallace, M., & Thomas, S. (2006). Professional learning communities: A review of the literature. Journal of Educational Change, 7(4), 221–258. doi:10.1007/s10833-006-0001-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sundqvist, P., & Olin-Scheller, C. (2013). Classroom vs. extramural English: Teachers dealing with demotivation. Language and Linguistics Compass, 7(6), 329–338. doi:10.1111/lnc3.12031 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. van Bommel, J. (2014). The teaching of mathematical knowledge for teaching: A learning study of primary school teacher education. Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education, 19(3), 185–201.Google Scholar
  23. van Bommel, J., & Liljekvist, Y. (2015, February). Facebook and mathematics teachers’ professional development: Informing our community. In K. Krainer & N. Vondrová (Eds.), Proceedings of the Ninth Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education (pp. 2930–2936), Prague: Czech Republic. https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01289653
  24. Vescio, V., Ross, D., & Adams, A. (2008). A review of research on the impact of professional learning communities on teaching practice and student learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(1), 80–91. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2007.01.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Webster-Wright, A. (2009). Reframing professional development through understanding authentic professional learning. Review of Educational Research, 79(2), 702–739. doi:10.3102/0034654308330970 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. White, A. L., Jaworski, B., Agudelo-Valderrama, C., & Gooya, Z. (2013). Teachers learning from teachers. In M. A. Clements, A. J. Bishop, C. Keitel, J. Kilpatrick, & F. K. S. Leung (Eds.), Third international handbook of mathematics education (Vol. 27, pp. 393–430). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yvonne Liljekvist
    • 1
  • Jorryt van Bommel
    • 2
  • Christina Olin-Scheller
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EducationUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceKarlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden
  3. 3.Department of Educational StudiesKarlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden

Personalised recommendations