Publication Details

Howard, S. & McKeown, J. (2011). Online practice & offline roles: A cultural view of teachers’ low engagement in online communities. American Educational Research Association


An online community of practice (CoP) can extend teachers’ professional interaction beyond their school, but these practices are often underutilized. Using cultural theory, this paper proposes that teachers’ low engagement in online CoPs is that this “practice” is not part of their role as a teacher, individually or in their school culture. These ideas are examined through teachers’ low engagement in an online CoP as part of a research project. Findings suggest that teachers saw the online community as part of their role in the project, not as part of their “offline” role as a classroom teacher. The discussion conjectures that together, through developing group values and beliefs, schools and research projects can make online CoPs relevant to teachers’ practice.

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