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Online support for teachers: Theory, design and impact (July 2017, CLRI, University of Sydney)

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In this seminar we address the complex question of: What should online support for Australia’s teachers look like?

We provide an overview of the complicated network of government, commercial, and research websites that provide resources and communities for teachers. We turn to the literature and the theory to discuss the gaps that remain. For example, why, in the face of so many online portals, do teachers resort to querying through Google?

We posit suggestions about the kinds of online support would have a significant impact, in terms of initial teacher education, professional identity, job satisfaction, and retention. Our talk is grounded in four years’ experience developing TeachConnect (www.teachconnect.edu.au) a design-based research project creating an online platform to support teachers. We discuss the policy context within which the challenge of supporting teachers online occurs and pragmatic approaches to research within this paradigm.

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Online support for teachers: Theory, design and impact (July 2017, CLRI, University of Sydney)

  1. 1. Online support for teachers: theory, design & impact Dr Nick Kelly & Steven Kickbusch Queensland University of Technology image: jaime.fernandes@ipsos.com
  2. 2. “The isolation chamber known as the classroom” (Hope, 1999)
  3. 3. “Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer.” E.M. Forster (Howards End, 1910)
  4. 4. “Insufficient attention seems to being given to the role of relationships in learning teaching and doing teaching, including relationships with students and with colleagues and other members of school communities” (Mayer et al., 2017)
  5. 5. Connectivity during ITE • Peers • Lecturers • Supervising teachers • University supervisors • Designated mentors
  6. 6. Systems within systems
  7. 7. The rise of the PLN
  8. 8. The challenges of PLNs • Not widely adopted • Mindset not outcome • “Successful users of PLNs overwhelm the uninitiated with techno- babble” • https://www.edutopia.org/blog/how-do-i-get-a-pln-tom-whitby • Confusion https://www.edutopia.org/blog/how-do-i-get-a-pln-tom-whitby
  10. 10. video
  11. 11. Research in teacher online support • Why? • What? • Understanding • Improving • Impacts • How? • Design-based research • Collaborations • Universities • School sectors • Teacher registration boards • Government?
  12. 12. initial teacher education early career support early career job satisfaction intention to leave the profession (Kelly, Cespedes, Clarà, & Danaher, under review)
  13. 13. Teacher support in Facebook groups (Kelly & Antonio, 2016)
  14. 14. Findings from studying social media • Public Facebook groups of teachers: • Support for declarative knowledge • Not for situational knowledge (no reflection or modelling of practise) • Private Facebook groups of teachers • Support during casual employment • Accessing collegial support from existing connections • Support to deal with a challenging work environment (Kelly & Antonio, 2016; Merceica & Kelly, 2017)
  15. 15. A model of early career teacher support Staff in Australia’s Schools, 2007 and 2010 data with >4000 ECTs total
  16. 16. ITE, ECT satisfaction, support, & attrition • ITE and attrition • “Working with other teachers” • 134-204% • “Diverse student needs” • Support and attrition • Mentors and opportunities to discuss • Job satisfaction and attrition • 4-9 times as likely (overall, also teaching and clerical work) • ITE and satisfaction (low impact) • Support and satisfaction (orientation, reduced f2f) • 69% of variance explained (unsupported + satisfaction)
  17. 17. Factors of job satisfaction • Factor analysis: EFA and SEFA in 2007 and 2010 • Context and conditions of work • Teaching & non-teaching work • Work-life balance, salary, society’s value • Working relationships and opportunities • Opportunities for PD, career advancement • Working relationships with colleagues & principal • Freedom and feedback • Relationships with students • Student behaviour • What you’re accomplishing
  18. 18. Theories of teacher connectedness • Fundamental human needs: • Ryan & Deci (2000) • Autonomy • Competence • Relatedness • Quality retention (Gu & Day, 2007) • Relational agency (Edwards, 2005) • Designing for intrinsic motivation
  19. 19. Outcomes • All 9 universities in Queensland • Workshops with PSTs • Mentoring program • Online CPD, circles, MET • Ministerial endorsement and media • Over 1000 members • Ongoing development • Moving towards better online support for teachers
  20. 20. Community Q&A Growing Knowledge database Answering questions Sharing resources Giving adviceKnowledge never lost Helping one another A space for Community Knowledge Sharing where teachers help one another Shared knowledge is easily accessible to the rest of the wider community.
  21. 21. A private space for deep reflection upon teaching practice. Circles Small Private Trusted Stable
  22. 22. Design principles • Separation between public and private • Anonymous default • Simple, quick and easy to use • Single purpose (distraction free) • Restricted to the profession • Independent and universal (across sectors) • Knowledge is re-usable • Inclusive and altruistic (culturally)
  23. 23. Circles Phase #1 • Only one circle per user • Circles participants determined by administrators • No of participants limited • No awareness of other circles Phase #2 • More than one circle • Circle themes determined by users • No limits on circle user numbers • Awareness of other circles and ability to request membership
  24. 24. Future work TeachConnect (v1) TeachConnect (v2) Knowledge re-use (open) Conditions for private groups
  25. 25. One of the things I've found is that if any one of a group of people with similar problems asks a question there's a good chance that the question will reflect some of the thinking of their peers. - Myles Horton
  26. 26. References • Carvalho, L., & Goodyear, P. (2014). The architecture of productive learning networks. Routledge. • Edwards, A. (2005). Relational agency: Learning to be a resourceful practitioner. International journal of educational research, 43(3), 168-182 • Gu, Q., & Day, C. (2007). Teachers resilience: A necessary condition for effectiveness. Teaching and Teacher education, 23(8), 1302-1316. • Hope, W. C. (1999). Principals' orientation and induction activities as factors in teacher retention. The Clearing House, 73(1), 54-56. • Mayer, D., Dixon, M., Kline, J., Kostogriz, A., Moss, J., Rowan, L., . . . White, S. (2017). Studying the effectiveness of teacher education. In D. Mayer, M. Dixon, J. Kline, A. Kostogriz, J. Moss, L. Rowan, B. Walker-Gibbs, & S. White (Eds.), Studying the effectiveness of teacher education: Early career teachers in diverse settings (pp. 13-26). Singapore: Springer Singapore. • Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American psychologist, 55(1), 68.
  27. 27. References • Kelly N., Reushle S., Chakrabarty S. & Kinnane A. (2014). Beginning teacher support in Australia: Towards an online community to augment current support, Australian Journal of Teacher Education 39(4), pp. 68-82 http://dx.doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2014v39n4.6 • Kelly N., Russell N., Kickbusch S., Barros A., Dawes L., & Rasmussen R., (Under review), A network of preservice teachers for transition into the profession: TeachConnect as design-based research, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology • Kelly N. and Antonio A. (2016). Teacher peer support in social network sites, Teaching and Teacher Education, 56: 138-149 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2016.02.007 • Kelly N., Sim S., & Ireland M. (Under review). Slipping through the cracks: Teachers that miss out on early career support, Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education • Kelly N., Cespedes M., Clarà M., & Danaher P., Investigating the complex relationships between teacher education, early-career support, job satisfaction and intention to leave the profession. Target: Journal of Teacher Education
  28. 28. Steven Kickbusch Steven.Kickbusch@qut.edu.au Contact us Nick Kelly Nick.Kelly@qut.edu.au www.nickkellyresearch.com