The POD model: Using communities of practice theory to conceptualise student teachers' professional learning online

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28 Citations (Scopus)


This paper focuses on the broad outcomes of a research project which aimed to analyse and model student teachers' learning in the online components of an initial teacher education course. It begins with discussion of the methodological approach adopted for the case study, which combined conventional data gathering techniques with those which are facilitated using the 'panoptical' tools of the VLE. The author has synthesized case study evidence, learning theory (Community of practice theory) and the advice of a key theoretician, to produce an original model of student teachers' learning online within a professional online district (POD). The most distinctive feature of the POD model is the learning-curriculum dichotomy which recognises the potential of a VLE as a venue in which student teachers, working together in a community of practice, construct their own curriculum (both formal and informal/'hidden'. The paper also examines the key technological and pedagogical issues which affect students' online learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521 -529
JournalComputers & Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Apr 2009

Bibliographical note

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  • Communities of practice
  • Model
  • Teacher education
  • Virtual learning environments


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