English/Language Arts Education

Blogging for Academic Purposes with English Language Learners: An Online Fieldwork Initiative

by Laura Baecher, Melissa Schieble, Christine Rosalia & Sarah Rorimer
Full Article PDF Show Abstract

This research investigated the use of blogs to promote collaboration between teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) teacher candidates and Adolescent English teacher candidates and to sensitize them to the writing demands placed on secondary English language learners (ELLs). Blogs offered an authentic experience for teacher candidates to interact with each other and with ELLs. Qualitative analysis showed Adolescent English teacher candidates’ desired more such fieldwork that would put them into direct contact with ELLs. TESOL candidates reported learning about the demands of high school academic writing through the tasks and the blog responses posted by their Adolescent English counterparts. Affordances and limitations of blogs as a tool in teacher education for ELLs, as well as the need for TESOL and content area teacher candidates to participate in collaborative fieldwork to strengthen instruction for ELLs, are discussed.

Mathematics Education

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge of Secondary Mathematics Teachers

by Boris Handal, Chris Campbell, Michael Cavanagh, Peter Petocz & Nick Kelly
Full Article PDF Show Abstract

The integration of technology, pedagogy, and content in the teaching of secondary mathematics was explored among 280 secondary mathematics teachers in the State of New South Wales, Australia.  The study adopted the technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK) model through the administration of a 30-item instrument called TPCK-M. The instrument consisted of three major theoretically based constructs: technological content knowledge (TCK), technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) and technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK). Results indicated that PowerPoint and Excel constitute the two TCK modal technological capabilities while TPK scores revealed teachers’ lower capacity to deal with the general information and communications technologies goals across the curriculum, such as creating digital assessment formats. TPCK-M scores seem to suggest a healthy standard in teachers’ technological skills across a variety of mathematics education goals. However, the magnitude of such influence in practice needs to be further ascertained, given that the study identified a number of instructional, curricular, and organizational factors seriously inhibiting the integration of technology into teaching and learning. In general, to take advantage of more novel learning technologies, teachers need to be trained in working with online tools (webquests, wikis), mobile learning, and interactive whiteboards and in authoring digital learning resources.

Science Education

Shared Photonarratives in an Online Master’s Course: Reflection, Context and Community

by Lauren Madden, M. Gail Jones & Margaret Blanchard
Full Article PDF Show Abstract

Distance education has potential to reach teachers from diverse areas, but the challenges of building community and promoting reflection in these settings can be considerable. In this study, photonarratives were used as an assignment in a distance education course to promote reflection on science teaching. Twenty science teachers (half from rural areas) produced photonarratives that included photos and descriptions of helping and hindering factors related to their science teaching. Analysis of the photonarratives showed that two primary categories of factors were both helpful and hindering and included geographic factors (proximity to a community college or facilities) and available technologies (such as probeware or document cameras). A third category, colleagues, came across as a theme among the helping factors alone. The photonarratives served as a tool to empower the teachers by giving them the control to identify and document issues related to their unique science teaching context while also promoting insight into shared issues across the group. The power of photos embedded in personal narratives as a tool for teacher reflection and developing community is discussed.


Systematic Design of Blended PBL: Exploring the Design Experiences and Support Needs of PBL Novices in an Online Environment

by Yun-Jo An
Full Article PDF Show Abstract

Designing problem-based learning (PBL), especially blended PBL, is very different from designing traditional teacher-centered instruction and requires a new set of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. To be successful, teachers must step out of their comfort zone, adopt new roles and responsibilities, and develop new knowledge and skills required in PBL environments as well as technology integration skills. The purpose of this study was threefold: (a) to examine the difficulties and challenges that PBL novices faced as they designed their first blended PBL in an online environment, (b) to explore effective strategies for supporting PBL novices in the design process, and (c) to examine the impact of PBL design experience on PBL novices’ perceptions of PBL. The researcher collected qualitative data from multiple sources, including an online survey, initial design documents, feedback meeting notes, revised design documents, and reflection papers. The findings of this study provide practical insights into how to support PBL novices in designing blended PBL. The implications for teacher professional development, especially online professional development, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Current Practice

The 4I Model for Scaffolding the Professional Development of Experienced Teachers in the Use of Virtual Learning Environments for Classroom Teaching.

by Pamela Cowan
Full Article PDF Show Abstract

Models of professional development for teachers have been criticized for not being embedded in the context in which teachers are familiar, namely their own classrooms.  This paper discusses an adapted-Continuous Practice Improvement  model, which qualitative findings indicate was effective in facilitating the transfer of creative and innovative teaching approaches from the expert or Resident Teacher’s school to the novice or Visiting Teachers’ classrooms over the duration of the project.  The cultural shift needed to embed and extend the use of online teaching across the school was achieved through the positive support and commitment of the principals in the Visiting Teachers’ schools, combined with the success of the professional development activities offered by the Visiting Teachers to their school-based colleagues.