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Title: Teacher participation in online communities of practice : a mixed-methods study of community, context and practice
Author: Weatherby, K. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 435X
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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The primary objective of this doctoral research is to understand the relationship between teachers’ participation in online communities of practice and the development of their teaching practice. The online community at the centre of this research is the Computing at School (CAS) community, created to support the computing curriculum in the United Kingdom. A mixed-methods methodology was employed that included a survey of CAS member teachers as well as semi-structured interviews with a subset of surveyed teachers. A content analysis of interactions between members on the CAS online community aided in development of maps of teacher context and in understanding whether CAS exhibits characteristics of a COP. Findings indicate that some teachers report significant changes to their teaching, classroom management, lesson planning or personal understanding of computing concepts as a result of their participation in the CAS community. CAS exhibits characteristics of a COP, according to Wenger’s (1998) framework, but not all CAS teachers use CAS in this manner. Other CAS members use CAS simply as a resource bank, from which to download activities for classroom use. Findings also reveal that a computing teacher’s background characteristics, notably his or her professional experience prior to teaching computing, play an important role in their attitudes toward and preparedness for teaching computing as well as influencing the professional development resources to which they have access.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available