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Talking about Teaching: a study of the professional uses of email by secondary school teachers in Uruguay

By Jorge Grünberg and Alejandro Armellini


Metadata only entryThis paper was published as Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 2005, 14 (2), pp.171-188. It is available from DOI: 10.1080/14759390500200200Teacher collegiality has been highlighted as a crucial factor in educational change and professional development. Secondary school teachers have been consistently found to feel isolated from their colleagues, with few opportunities and mechanisms for collegial support and exchange. Research suggests that computer-mediated communication, and electronic mail in particular, may help overcome the logistical and cultural barriers that hinder teacher communication and collaboration. This article reports on some of the findings of a research study into the use of email by secondary school teachers in Uruguay. The aim of the study was to further understand the potential of email to support teacher collegiality. Content analysis was used to identify the purpose and usage patterns of 1356 electronic mail messages exchanged between 20 secondary school teachers in Montevideo, Uruguay, over a period of 37 weeks. The evidence suggests that a majority of the exchanges between teachers were related to teaching practice. However, communication in this study largely excluded discussions on teachers' theoretical stances and pedagogical beliefs. This may diminish the potential of email to challenge teachers' professional views and hence limit professional development opportunities to an 'instrumental' level

Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1080/14759390500200200
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