Bodoe University College (NORWAY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 2663-2672
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Teachers are often confronted with difficulties such as aggressive students, demanding parents and conflicts with colleagues or supervisors during their every-day work. This can be very draining if not a threat to health. Instead of turning to others for help, teachers rather tend to deal with their problems in private. Some of them create the same solutions, which may be ineffective or insufficient, s over and over again, to the detriment of the pupils and themselves.
An internet forum is now an integrated part of a dual counselling, assistance and learning system. Our experiences show that the forum is an effective means of counselling by information and learning by reflection and of contributing to decision making. All users can benefit from quick access to specialist expertise as well as to the knowledge of very experienced colleagues. If necessary they can address these counsellors even by e-mail. There is no need to compare timetables with the counsellors or for protracted discussions of sorrows during the many hours of a long counselling process.
This forum is also a contribution towards developing the school as a learning organisation. It will help to strengthen student-teachers’ competence in obtaining help - and themselves giving help - by use of modern communication. To a great extent, the resource centre will contribute to the wider development of guidance and teacher training by establishing this professional net service for teachers undergoing basic training. To attain this goal, our intention also is to contribute to school learning culture by putting into practice principles within “blended learning”.
The “Teachers’ Forum” offers teachers the opportunity to work in professional and collaborative learning communities without having to reveal their identity. This gives the chance to admit to difficulties, to ask questions anonymously and to experience the strength and advantages of a professional learning community. Young teachers in particular will receive acknowledgement of and understanding for their difficulties. They will realise that others have had to face the same or similar problems, have found a way to solve them and this may help to ease the pressure on the involved teacher, thereby enabling him to deal with his problem in a more professional manner. By helping each other via the virtual platform, teachers can also improve their problem solving abilities as well as their abilities to offer encouragement and professional advice.

teachers forum, web-based, problem solving, counselling, knowledge building.