Teachers as Connected Professionals

A Model to Support Professional Learning Through Personal Learning Networks

Keywords: personal learning network, networked learning, professional learning, model, teachers

Abstract

As education becomes increasingly complex, effective continuing professional learning is an important strategy to support teachers in schools. However, current professional development approaches may not meet contemporary teachers’ needs. Seeking to enhance teachers’ professional learning opportunities, this paper presents a model of learning as a connected professional. The model draws upon the findings of a qualitative case study of 13 teachers who interact with others through a personal learning network (PLN).

Theories of connectivism, networked learning, and connected learning underpin the model, which conceptualises the whole experience of learning as a connected professional. The model comprises three elements: arenas of learning, teacher as learner, and PLN. Key characteristics of the experience are practices described as linking, stretching, and amplifying. These practices recur in various ways across all three elements of the model. The model promotes professional learning that is active, interest-driven, and autonomous, meeting personal learning needs while being socially connected.

As education becomes increasingly complex, effective continuing professional learning is an important strategy to support teachers in schools. However, current professional development approaches may not meet contemporary teachers’ needs. Seeking to enhance teachers’ professional learning opportunities, this paper presents a model of learning as a connected professional. The model draws upon the findings of a qualitative case study of 13 teachers who interact with others through a personal learning network (PLN).

Theories of connectivism, networked learning, and connected learning underpin the model, which conceptualises the whole experience of learning as a connected professional. The model comprises three elements: arenas of learning, teacher as learner, and PLN. Key characteristics of the experience are practices described as linking, stretching, and amplifying. These practices recur in various ways across all three elements of the model. The model promotes professional learning that is active, interest-driven, and autonomous, meeting personal learning needs while being socially connected.

Author Biographies

Kay Oddone, Queensland University of Technology
PhD CandidateFaculty of Education
School of Teacher Education and Leadership
Hilary Hughes, Queensland University of Technology
Associate Professor
Faculty of Education,
School of Teacher Education and Leadership
Mandy Lupton, Queensland University of Technology

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Education,
School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Published
2019-02-20
How to Cite
Oddone, K., Hughes, H., & Lupton, M. (2019). Teachers as Connected Professionals. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 20(3). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v20i4.4082
Section
Research Articles