Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Professional Teacher Learning in Virtual Environments: Myth or Reality?

Dr Norbert Pachler, Caroline Daly.

In particular, we examine the complexities of the learning process in the context of a group of teachers who are studying face-to-face and online for the Master of Teaching degree at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Many students new to online learning bring with them a certain passive orientation and a performative outlook on learning shaped, among other things, by the prevalence of transmission models for learning. Embracing the collaborative potential of electronic discussion groups can be problematic for them. To bring about a change in perception and orientation in how to use the new medium to facilitate their own learning and the learning of others is a complex process. Polarised conceptions of ‘autonomous’ and ‘collaborative’ learning are inadequate to describe the experiences of the participants working in virtual contexts.

We address core questions in relation to this problematic. First, we problematise the term ‘learning’ in relation to the specific context of the Master of Teaching and its particular constituencies. Then, we ask whether it is possible to identify conceptual transformations which occur in teachers in an online context, and whether they are attributable to the impact of the virtual environment. How, if at all, are these transformations the result of particular pedagogical affordances offered by online learning?


Dr Norbert Pachler  (United Kingdom)
Assistant Dean: CPD
School of Culture, Language and Communication
Institute of Education, University of London

Caroline Daly  (United Kingdom)
Lecturer in Education
The School of Culture, Language and Communication
London University Institute of Education

Caroline Daly teaches on the Initial Teacher Education Programme at London University Institute of Education, and is a module leader for the Master of Teaching degree. Her role involves planning for teachers’ professional development through engagement with peer-discussion in an electronic forum. She is also interested in the impact of learning communities on teachers’ development, and the subject of her Ph.D. research is early professional learning via computer-mediated communication.

  • online teacher professional learning

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)