Towards a Community of Practice: Teachers' Meaning Making Using Video for Examining Technology Integration Practices

Project Number
OER 06/08 SHJ

Project Duration
March 2009 - February 2012

Status
Completed

Abstract
The primary goal of this project is to understand the meaning-making practices of teachers around the use of technology for teaching and learning. Through this work, it would strengthen our understanding of the social infrastructure of supporting a participatory and reflective teacher community. Specifically, we will examine the use of various video-based tools with annotation functions to help teachers capture, make sense of and to construct meaning with colleagues on teaching pedagogies and practices. The research foci include (a) how teachers plan and implement innovative ICT-integrated lessons, (b) how video tools can be used to facilitate productive and generative discussion among teachers, and � how teachers are engaged in the artefact-mediated knowledge/meaning co-construction through annotated video formats. Further, we will examine the iterative process of how teachers incorporate their annotations and discussion with colleagues to modify their practices. It is also envisaged that given sustained interactions on and about their practice, this research project could also shed light on the beginnings of a teacher community-of-practice. Briefly, the context for our research goal in part draws from previous LSL project on ''Teachers' beliefs about knowledge and learning, and technology use in Singapore schools: An exploratory study'' (LSL 7/05 MJ, conducted in 2005-2006) which found that while teachers and school leaders in Singapore had rich insights about their beliefs and knowledge about learning with technology, they often relied on individual reflective practices isolated from other teachers for meaning making, and had little opportunities to share and refine their pedagogies and technology-use with their colleagues. This finding suggests that more research is needed (a) to understand a variety of ostensive and performative aspects of teacher practices, and (b) to examine how teachers' knowledge and knowing about their technology-enabled practices can be constructed in a community setting. In the area of teacher learning, video technology has been suggested as a promising platform for bringing the performative aspects of teacher practices, for anchoring teacher reflections and discussions through the sharing of vivid images of classroom practices and discourses. However, the analysis of existing video cases libraries often cited in the Learning Sciences literature (e.g., the Inquiry Learning Forum (ILF) at Indiana University and The Knowledge Network On the Web (KNOW) at University of Michigan) revealed that a traditional supply-push mode of knowledge sharing, mostly captured from researchers' angles, has limitations in maintaining sustainable effects for teacher learning in schools. There might be several reasons for this phenomenon, but one of them could be that supply-push mode of video/knowledge sharing is fundamentally remote from notions of learning by doing where instructional improvement stem from teachers' own analyse of their enactment in videos. For the proposed research, a group of teachers (approximately 5-7, same subject area) in one primary or secondary school will be invited to participate in this project for one and a half years. Findings in this project will be shared and discussed with international collaborators to advance our knowledge about the complexity of teachers' knowledge and knowing processes and the socio-infrastructure of supporting a teacher community. Currently, researchers at the Research Centre for Computer-supported Learning and Cognition (CoCo), the University of Sydney have expressed a firm interest in participation in this project.

Funding Source
NIE

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