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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Cultivating a Personal Learning Network that Leads to Professional Change
by Stewart, Benjamin L., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2015, 189; 3746019
Abstract (Summary)

Teacher professional development opportunities in Mexico are currently lacking. The traditional approaches of professional development such as workshops and conferences are commonplace but do little to bridge the gap between abstract concepts about teaching and learning and the practicalities teachers face in the classroom. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to describe how ideas, materials, and social interactions form a PLN through online, informal pedagogical dialogues among English language educators as it relates to professional learning. The five participants of this study were selected from a total of 10 based on their willingness to complete an informed consent form, complete an initial online survey, interact with other professionals publically online, and participate in a final interview. The online survey contained demographic information about each case and included both open and closed items; a content analysis was done on public interactions that tool place online; and a final in-depth interview used open questions to inquire about how respective PLNs changed over time. All data was coded, categorized, and placed into themes based on the ideational, material, and social aspects of each PLN. The findings show that professional knowledge, skills sets, and overall dispositions emerge in unique ways based on how ideas, technologies, and personal contacts interrelate with each other over time, and that an individual’s PLN provides unanticipated benefits when sharing publicly online.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Spatariu, Alexandru
Commitee: Kim, Edward, Spear, Sean
School: Northcentral University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Foreign language education, Educational leadership, Educational technology
Keywords: Actor-network theory, Complexity, Education, Learning, Personal learning network
Publication Number: 3746019
ISBN: 978-1-339-39148-9
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