About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 5866 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

LEARNING TO TEACH SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONS COLLABORATING IN VIRTUAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES

C. Vilela, A. Freire

University of Lisbon (PORTUGAL)
Recent recommendations for science education claim for pupils’ active learning that includes giving them opportunities to understand scientific concepts and develop the ability to think and act in ways associated with inquiry. In this context the purpose of teaching is to facilitate science learning, namely through science investigations. To face this challenge, science teacher education recommends some important guidelines for teacher education programs including the enhancement of reflection and collaboration. However, there is a gap between initial teacher education programs at the university and teachers’ working in schools. Student teachers (ST) have asked for learning opportunities that promote greater proximity to school work and pupils, to integrate fundamental aspects of theory and practice. The establishment of learning communities where inquiry, critique and reflection are the norm, and where members can learn together, is recommend. As many studies point out, virtual learning communities (VLC) seem to be an adequate tool to the achievement of these claims. VLC can be developed based on several e-learning systems facilitating collaboration in any place and at any time. Accordingly, the ST learn to teach and develop reflective and critical thinking about teaching and learning. In order to understand the contribution of VLC in the process of learning to teach, in initial teacher education, the aims of this presentation are (i) to describe a science education program where a blended environment was developed (integrating VLC and face to face classes) to facilitate collaboration among ST and teachers in schools; (ii) to identify the potentialities and constraints attributed by ST to their involvement in this experience; (iii) to identify different types of collaboration among the members in the forum.
This is a qualitative study. It is descriptive and interpretative in nature. The participants were 15 ST enrolled in a pre-service 13-week program at the university and 4 teachers working in schools with pupils between 12 and15 years of age.
The design of ‘Profonautas XXI’ VLC followed several principles presented by Bielaczyc & Collins (1999) for the design and development of learning communities and the interpretation made by Ng & Hung (2003) for the development of virtual learning communities.
Data sources were the student teachers final reports, interviews, final responses to a questionnaire and the postings along one semester in the forum. The results concerning the potentialities that student teachers attributed to the VLC in the process of learning to teach pointed out aspects presented as key ideas in the standards and recent research for teacher education programs. They emphasise the importance of offering in these courses opportunities for collaboration in learning communities and communities of practice, reflection, knowledge construction and developing and sharing curriculum materials that are suitable for promoting science education reform. Different types of collaboration were identified among the members. The facilitator’s role in forum discussions seems to be a key aspect to foster specific types of collaboration. Discussion will be reported.
@InProceedings{VILELA2010LEA,
author = {Vilela, C. and Freire, A.},
title = {LEARNING TO TEACH SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONS COLLABORATING IN VIRTUAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {5866}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Vilela AU - A. Freire
TI - LEARNING TO TEACH SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONS COLLABORATING IN VIRTUAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 5866
EP - 5866
ER -
C. Vilela, A. Freire (2010) LEARNING TO TEACH SCIENCE INVESTIGATIONS COLLABORATING IN VIRTUAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES, ICERI2010 Proceedings, p. 5866.
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