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ERIC Number: EJ915435
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0965-0792
Creating and Maintaining Online Communities of Practice in Malaysian Smart Schools: Challenging Realities
Thang, Siew Ming; Hall, Carol; Murugaiah, Puvaneswary; Azman, Hazita
Educational Action Research, v19 n1 p87-105 Mar 2011
Wenger describes an educational community of practice (CoP) as a group of professionals who share a passionate concern for practice-based issues and who voluntarily choose to deepen their knowledge, understanding and skills through collaborative and critical dialogue. Peer collaboration of this kind, which involves social interaction, reflection and a critical engagement with practice issues, has been widely suggested to be effective for teacher learning and professional development. The online continuing professional development for teachers (e-CPDelT) Vision 2020 model outlined here aims to bring about innovation in practice through an online or virtual CoP (VCoP). Twenty Malaysian teachers in five Smart Schools were invited to take part in a Higher Education (HE) project, funded by one of the main universities in Malaysia. By participating collaboratively in this CoP, it was anticipated that the teachers would form an active online CoP that would lead in turn to innovation in teaching and learning practices in the schools. An action research approach was used in tracing the developmental process of the three subject-based CoPs (namely, Mathematics, Science and English) and identifying challenges faced by the higher education institution (HEI) project team in fostering the active participation and commitment of the teachers. Preliminary data generated from mentor forum discussion, focus groups and blogs suggested that low levels of participation in VCoP activities were a result of low levels of trust and social affiliation, performance anxiety, time pressure and failure to see the relevance of online interaction as directly related to their individual needs as practitioners. Approaches to remediating these challenges and promoting more authentic teacher engagement are outlined. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Malaysia