Developing perceptions of learning affordances: The practical knowledge acquired by experienced in-service language teachers using technology

Karen Haines (2012). Developing perceptions of learning affordances: The practical knowledge acquired by experienced in-service language teachers using technology PhD Thesis, School of Languages and Comp Cultural Studies, The University of Queensland.

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Author Karen Haines
Thesis Title Developing perceptions of learning affordances: The practical knowledge acquired by experienced in-service language teachers using technology
School, Centre or Institute School of Languages and Comp Cultural Studies
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-01
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr Michael Levy
Dr Cynthia White
Dr Claire Kennedy
Total pages 292
Total colour pages 22
Total black and white pages 270
Language eng
Subjects 200401 Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics
130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
Abstract/Summary One of the challenges of ongoing learning for language teachers is to be aware of the possibilities that new technology tools might offer for language learning and to integrate technology, where appropriate, into teaching environments. Much of teachers’ practical knowledge base in relation to new technology tools develops over time and through actual classroom use. This study investigated the skills and knowledge that experienced tertiary language teachers acquired through the process of using individual CMC technologies in the language learning classroom. The qualitative paradigm guided methodological choices in relation to data collection and analysis. Longitudinal interviews were conducted over a period of fourteen months with sixteen experienced tertiary language teachers, from five tertiary institutions in Australia and New Zealand. Results were analysed for content and in relation to a priori categories from the literature. The developing knowledge base of participants was also examined with respect to affordance theory (with particular reference to Dohn, 2009; 1979; Kirschner, 2002; Kirschner, Strijbos, Kreijns, & Beers, 2004; Norman, 1988, 1999). The findings identified two aspects of teacher learning not specifically mentioned in existing frameworks of CALL teacher knowledge (Compton, 2009; Hampel & Stickler, 2005; Hubbard & Levy, 2006a). Firstly, teachers not only learned about their teaching, but acquired knowledge around supporting their students’ learning, and, secondly, they continued to develop their understandings of their teacher selves. The participants in the study all displayed a strong focus on supporting their students’ learning, both in relation to students’ learning about technology and to ways in which teachers were able to use specific tools to support students’ language learning. Further in-depth analysis of six of the participants’ interviews also demonstrated that ongoing learning included growing understandings of roles that would support students’ learning, such as learner trainer, facilitator and researcher, as well as an increased knowledge of themselves personally, as they developed their individual teaching style and increased their sense of self-efficacy and motivation. A final, and crucial, feature of the developing knowledge base of the participants in the study was in relation to perceiving and implementing the affordances of new tools. The term ‘learning affordance’ was coined to describe how teachers perceived possibilities for actions that would support their students’ learning. A typical progression was identified for the process by which language teachers learn to perceive and actualise affordances. As well, the findings suggest that teachers perceived different kinds of affordance around content (as students engaged in using the L2 and learning about culture) and process (as students engaged in interaction, in developing affective aspects of learning, and also in developing more autonomy as learners). Finally, a framework is outlined that situates affordance as central to teachers’ implementation of technology in the classroom. Implications of the general findings of the thesis are discussed with reference to their significance for in-service teacher learning.
Keyword Language Teacher Education
Teacher Knowledge
Learning Affordances
CALL Teachers
Additional Notes Colour pages pp. 111, 113, 139, 163-164, 166, 183, 187, 198, 201, 258-259, 270-273, 284-288, 291 Landscape pages pp. 154, 183, 187, 242, 244-246, 250-253, 257-278, 281, 284-291

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Created: Wed, 13 Jun 2012, 12:02:23 EST by Karen Haines on behalf of Library - Information Access Service