Technology-enhanced Professional Development of School Teachers in Chile
: An Action Research Exploration

  • Miguel Cerna

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Abstract

Technology use for teachers’ professional development has attracted research interest over many years. The collaborative potential of technology for facilitating problem-solving and distance research has been shown to benefit teachers’ learning. In Chile, technology for collaboration and the emerging interest in research-based approaches have also been regarded as core areas of professionalization by the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC). This study explores the mediating potential of technologies for the professional development of teachers in Chile with a focus on collaborative activity in a wiki through action research-based professional development opportunities. This study also supports the exploration of my own practices as a teacher educator and serves my intention to reflect upon the nature of (online) professional development and (online) collaboration through action research.

This action research study involved eleven teachers working voluntarily in a professional development offering termed the Wiki project. This project aimed at connecting teachers from different Chilean regions for collaboration, reflective practice, and involvement in aspects of research with the support of technology. Online and face-to-face semi-structured interviews, email communication, and collaborative work in Google Docs, as wiki, were used to gather data on the participants’ social practices of professional development and collaboration. Thematic analysis and interaction analysis were employed, with the study being based on a socio-cultural view of learning in order to understand the role of mediation, reflection, and collaboration in teachers’ learning.

The study found that technology use granted possibilities, while also introducing challenges, for distance collaboration and reflection. For example, the school context, teachers’ attitudinal dispositions toward collaboration and technology use, and the social practices the wiki promoted, along with facets of our relationships, were the supporting and limiting factors in online developmental processes.
Date of Award28 Nov 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorSue Timmis (Supervisor) & Sally Barnes (Supervisor)

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