Learning communities in teacher education: the impact of e-competence (2012)
The present article reports on the results of the three year programme 'Biology in Context' (bik). In this German-wide programme, teachers and science education researchers worked together in 10 learning communities (so-called school sets) with the goal of enhancing the quality of teaching and learning in biology classrooms as mandated by the recently passed National Educational Standard for the lower secondary level. In addition to face-to-face meetings, computers were used as tools for communication and collaboration. Computers enabled the mutual sharing of information among the participants, the planning and documenting of tasks and teaching units, and they promoted the reflection over and refining of products. Data were collected from structured interviews of teachers, researchers and coordinators. The analysis identified teacher profiles in regard to their attitudes to implement the bik concept, their computer use and the change of classroom activities. The main findings show that (i) the participant teachers mainly used ICT tools when constructing tasks and units and when collaborating, (ii) but less so for instructional purposes, learning and knowledge creation, (iii) seldom used ICT tools for reflection on professional experiences, and (iv) that teachers use of ICT tools increased from the first to the third year. The study concludes that information literacy skills have a strong impact on the persistence of learning communities. Further research should be conducted to investigate teachers' professional development in communities that turn more and more from face-to-face meetings to blended forms of learning.
evaluation, teaching, empirical, education standards, Curriculum, naturwissenschaftlicher Unterricht, Lernen, quantitative empirical, empirisch-qualitativ, Biologieunterricht, Evaluation, Unterricht, learning communities, information literacy skills, national educational standards, competency acquisition, context orientation, Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Didactics, applied research, Planung, biology instruction, teaching materials, learning, Lehrer, Didaktik, Kompetenz, Unterrichtsmaterial, Fachwissen, competence, teacher, Teaching, expertise, Bildung und Erziehung, Education, anwendungsorientiert, Federal Republic of Germany, natural science instruction, empirisch-quantitativ, empirisch, Bildungsstandards, planning, qualitative empirical
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